Native Dog Cabin

The site sits on a spur of land jutting out into the Southern Ocean between Bremer Bay and Dillon Bay. Enjoying ocean views to the east, south and west, it is surrounded by beaches and wild places.

The landscape is wild and has a muscular, visceral quality. The home needed to maximise the view and its connection within the monumental landscape setting.

Small simple buildings are grouped together: a simple gable form for the accommodation; separate flat-roofed pavilion for the carport, and a large water tank. Corrugated steel forms both walls and roofs, with Colorbond Woodland Grey chosen to visually recede within the bushland setting.

The home’s concrete, corrugated steel, timber and stone recalls the vernacular context of Bremer Bay and creates a low maintenance home within a Zen-like gravel and rock garden. The raised concrete podium allows the home to be defined as separate from the surrounding landscape and deters snakes.

Taking a passive, self-sufficient approach to services and sustainability, the house features solar PV cells, electric hot water system, on-site grey and black water processing, on-site composting and an EV charging point.

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North Beach House

a solid block carved out by courtyards. Sunlight and air penetrate into the heart of the home highlighting key vistas and private landscape spaces.

Concrete beach buildings and limestone are referenced through the concrete floors, breeze blocks, sand-coloured face brickwork and white rendered walls. Timber, mosaics and sheer curtains provide warmth and texture; a softness to the interior.

Breeze blocks welcome the sea breeze and layer the space in a way that a solid wall could not; maintaining privacy and providing wind-breaks – allowing airflow and light to filter deep into the home.

The home has a beautiful, calm, and simple Modernist expression with textured materials grounding it both in the landscape and coast. Carefully assembled, these elements result in a warm and welcoming home which looks and feels totally relaxing.

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Willetton Library Refurbishment

The project is, by its nature, sustainable – extending the life of an outdated and tired building for an additional 5-10 years. A more attractive building with improved facilities = social sustainability.

Retaining as much of the existing structure as practical, the refurbishment re-uses the existing hot water and chiller/boiling water units; LED light fixtures and air conditioning (re-conditioned and extended). The building now meets current Section J with the inclusion of ceiling insulation and new low-e glass in existing aluminum windows. Additional windows increase daylight access limiting the reliance on artificial lighting, reducing glare and opening the interior up to the new low water-use landscape and existing trees.

New elements are bolt fixed so that they can be re-located and re-used in other City of Canning facilities.

Low water use plumbing fixtures exceed the minimum requirements and recyclable materials are used where possible, most notably in the carpet tiles.

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Farmer Residence

Set on a long narrow site overlooking parklands, the design comprises two pavilions within courtyard gardens. The front pavilion addresses the park with an operable screen allowing privacy into bedrooms and study whilst the rear pavilion is a living ‘cube’ and is provided with extra headroom for relaxation and contemplation. The stair and lift elements tie the pavilions together vertically and horizontally, housing kitchen/dining spaces; an extension of the lush courtyards.

Framed by a bespoke stone and iron gate, the garden entry introduces the palette of stone, glass and iron. These elements transition from outside to inside drawing the exterior in and the interior out.

Extensive use of louvred glass windows mirrors the front facade allowing for enhanced cross ventilation across the dwelling.  Passive solar orientation is ideal on the lot, minimising heat-gain whilst maximising the northern aspect for winter sun.  The long thin plan allows for effective cross-ventilation.

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Do Residence

Invisible from the street, the project provides a contemporary home for a young family. It seeks to explore the concept that brickwork need not be just a solid barrier and celebrates brick as an individual architectural element that can be stretched, pulled and manipulated to create pattern and permeability. Simple interlocking architectural forms link with the retained Federation-era dwelling and allow it to stand without disturbance. The simple forms of the new structure seek to celebrate brickwork as the dominant feature.

The project uses dark and light coloured brickwork to differentiate between forms and contrast with the classic red brick of the existing dwelling. Brickwork is playfully manipulated through the use of “hit and miss” screen patterns that provide visual privacy, diffused light and solar shading. Custom triangulated cuts form brick patterns that reference the triangulated form of the site and standalone workshop.

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Perry Lakes Residences

This group of houses was located in of the ‘Steeplechase Green’ part of the Perry Lakes redevelopment. Owned by one family, the three dwellings included a home for a young couple with a family, an investment property for their parents and a two-storey ancillary dwelling.

Our first challenge for this project was meeting the requirements of the Perry Lakes Design Guidelines, which governed all home designs for the redevelopment. Strictly modernist, the guidelines referenced the VIIth British Empire and Commonwealth Games, held at the original Perry Lakes Stadium in 1962. Our design would need to capture the glory days of 1960s architecture, while still providing for current Australian lifestyles – and current expectations of comfort and amenity.

We built a contemporary vision around iconic modernist design, with a focus on flat rooflines, minimal ornamentation and a soft, pastel palette. Each of the dwellings was designed as a series of concealed-roof white ‘boxes’ floating over face brick podiums. This allowed us to maximise the vertical space and also make use of eaves and overhangs to protect the home from the summer sun. The creation of a double-height alfresco external space further protected the interior of the home – the living areas have a cool, sheltered aspect without feeling enclosed.

Central to our reimagining of the unique 1960s aesthetic was finding ways it could be made sustainable. The dwellings are all designed according to solar passive and energy efficient principles, with north-facing aspects to capture the winter sun while keeping out the worst of the summer heat. An adjustable Vergola on the upper level provides control over sun protection, and a small plunge pool offers the perfect retreat for cooling off on hot days. We also used the concrete breeze-block screens and articulation typical of modernist houses, employing these signature materials in ways that would enhance the sustainability of the structure.

The resulting homes are uncompromisingly modernist in style, but with all benefits of contemporary design. Living spaces are roomy and varied across the homes – there are always places to escape for privacy, shade or work. In the main house, the master bedrooms are separated from the secondary bedrooms to better suit current family life, and it features a spacious study for working remotely. Each dwelling remains a celebration of Perry Lakes’ proud heritage, and also a showcase of what it means to live there now.

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Chelmsford House

This property was a coveted classic Federation-era house on a corner block in North Perth. The owners wanted to open up the home to the outside, to make the most of the fantastic location and the WA lifestyle for their family. They also wanted more room for a few unique touches which would make it their own.

We needed to rethink the space as a whole, bringing new life to every area of the home – both interior and exterior. We pushed out to the boundary next to the front bedroom, using this otherwise wasted and awkward space as a long ensuite. Similarly, we built a new, discrete section off the kitchen to house a scullery which leads into the laundry and drying court. We also moved the master suite into the new upper level, giving the parents a secluded retreat from the rest of the home, with a private study, ensuite and walk-in-robe. The wide staircase behind the kitchen allowed for a floating bookcase, making this often-transitory space a place where the family can stop and spend a little time.

The veranda, gun-barrel hallway and four rooms at the front were retained. We converted one bedroom into a new bathroom and added a new bedroom at the rear. The L-shaped extension at the rear of the house links the existing structure to a new double garage off the rear laneway. We also built a high masonry wall to maintain privacy from the street. Together, these elements create a new, sheltered courtyard with a north-east aspect, making the most of the winter sun while protecting the home from the harsh south-westerly weather. At the rear, Kyle Hughes Odgers street art completes the picture.

The finishes and the choice of materials were very important for this home, offering a way to unite the new and the old, as well as the inside and the outside. External timber joinery and cladding connects with the timber elements internally, and polished concrete floors provide a seamless transition between the two. Details were carefully chosen, referencing the various time periods evident in the home’s history; from the Edwardian etching on the shower to the 1970s-inspired blue tiling in the upstairs ensuite.

The result is a home that uses every available space to add something to the lives of the family who live there – the highest achievement of any renovation.

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Marine House

The owners of this 1960s beach house were looking to augment the available space to display their impressive art collection, and to do some upgrades for comfort and sustainability. They also wanted to reconnect the home to its coastal surroundings, while remaining protected from the elements.

We knew one of our biggest challenges would be to honour the home’s architectural legacy, which had great significance for the owners. The house had a lot of history. It had been in the owners’ family since 1973 and had seen a number of renovations over the decades. The existing relationship between the old and new elements of the house was the perfect starting point; we could select the best of what was already there, and use it to help shape our concept. Central to this was the use of arches, referencing both classical Italian architecture and the work of architect Carlo Scarpa.

First, in the rear courtyard, we added a new vestibule and an arched gallery space connecting the home to the basement garage. We pared back the old 1990s Italianate folly, carefully selecting materials and details to maintain consistency with the existing home. We also allowed the existing arched wall at the rear of the house to breathe, removing the bifold doors and extending the inside space out into the garden. At the front of the house, a new ‘glass slipper’ porch lightly touches the existing façade. This offers protection from the harsh sun and wind without disrupting the visual continuity of the frontage and its beautiful blade columns. The integration of a balcony into the roof of the porch also allows the owners to enjoy the sea air and endless ocean views from the upper level.

Inside, we took particular care to reconcile the old and new elements of the home, especially when refinishing the wet areas. A warm and luxurious palette of bronze, copper, granite, smoked eucalyptus and walnut timbers offsets the existing and new timber and concrete finishes. We also installed a new ducted air conditioning system which, coupled with insulation and double/low-e glazing greatly improves the comfort and energy efficiency of the home. The finishing touch was a bespoke lighting scheme, incorporating a new skylight over the master ensuite and flexible track lighting for the home’s magnificent artworks.

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Binary Brick Bungalow

A young family moving from another part of Mount Lawley, the owners of this Mount Lawley lot had big plans for the most unassuming house on the street. It was easy to see the appeal of this property, situated high on the mount with incredible views – both east to the hills and west to the city skyline. But along with the dream block came a run-down Californian bungalow which the owners were very keen to renovate.

The property falls within a heritage precinct. This meant our first challenge was to develop a design which would give the clients the modern extension they wanted, within the strict heritage guidelines. Our design worked around this with a new wing down one side of the home, similar in style to the existing frontage. This addition disguises the main extension, a clean modernist box which is cantilevered out over the rear garden at the back.

With the final design approved, we set about harmonising the two very different faces of this unique home. The use of red recycled brick grounds the home into the heritage precinct, and this material was extended out to provide structure and continuity within the rear garden. This area is one of the owners’ most cherished features, giving the family room to live, grow and play against the backdrop of the city. The fire pit forms another outdoor ’room’, with ample seating for guests under the WA sky. The raised level of the pool also acts as an intrinsic pool barrier, allowing us to reduce the use of pool fencing and amplify the open feel of the garden.

Inside, a modern industrial aesthetic reconciles the old and new aspects of the home. Warehouse-style fittings in the kitchen and tiles with a rusted steel effect in the bathroom add warmth, interest and detail. A combination of industrial and natural materials brings the rest of the home together, with a harmonious palette of polished concrete floors, grey-stained plywood, jarrah screening and concrete-look benchtops.


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Highgate Residence

This unique property in the heart of Highgate was a handsome Edwardian home, beginning to show its age. The owners were seeking a contemporary renovation which would give them the space and amenity to age in place comfortably. They loved the Federation feel of the house and wanted to retain as much of its heritage character as possible – without so many of the quirks and drawbacks typical of a heritage home.

And there were a lot of quirks to manage. The home, situated on a previously subdivided lot, concealed a sizeable under-croft space – the lot actually sloped down a full storey from the street frontage to the rear laneway. Its most intriguing feature was a three-storey turret at the rear of property, which offered spectacular views of the city skyline.

We took our cues from the existing forms and materials of the home; we knew our biggest challenge would be to integrate the new extension with what was already there. We envisaged a folded copper shell or carapace, floating above and protecting the rear of the house. This offered not only a response to the imposing turret, but a surface on which to work in constructing the new spaces of the house. Where the existing spaces were robust and enclosed, we wanted to bring the extension out into the open.

This copper shell gave form, function and feeling to many of the new elements. Beneath it, the existing central passageway now opens onto a new open-plan living area, the middle level of the new three-floor plan. Transitioning into rooftop terraces, it includes a suspended pool positioned over the new garage and basement spaces. Raised planter beds frame and soften the rear terrace with greenery. All three floors are connected by a bridging stair element, delicately housed in glazing between the turret and the new areas.

We were also careful to include future-proofing and convenience into the design, with CBUS control for lighting/electrical/operable screens, louvres and windows, as well as a lift. Photovoltaic solar panels, a solar hot water system and double-glazing help to reduce the energy requirements of the home significantly.

Our palette of materials was chosen not to mimic those of the original heritage home but to balance them. Many of the heavier elements – the bold face brick, the fireplaces and chimneys, the sturdy turret – were counterweighted with glass elements and innovative lighting design. The charcoal-toned and copper skins, concealed from the street by the original façade, will weather and gain character over time. We also made efficient use of space, reclaiming some of the attic cavity for a walk-in-robe and the top floor of the turret as a new study. The final, folded curve of the copper carapace even protects a private balcony, offering views of Hyde Park and the city.

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