Ashford Residence

Minim Close, Mosman Park, Western Australia

What do you build for an owner who wants comfort, sustainability and wide open spaces? A unique riverside home with its back to the leafy suburbs and its face to the sky.

Situated on the Swan River Estuary overlooking Minim Cove Park, this home spans the threshold where the city meets the river. The location is indicative of what the owners wanted from their home: a secure, private sanctuary from their busy lives, which would still allow them to enjoy the open spaces and natural beauty of their surroundings.

Our design focussed on the beauty of balance. Braced in the bedrock of the hillside, the home feels grounded and sheltered, while the 180-degree views of the river and endless coastal skies convey freedom and space. Moored hull fragments encase the corners of the building, bringing an earthy solidity to a courtyard which opens to the horizon. The interior draws the spectacular vistas inside, bathing the living areas in natural light with glimpses of river and sky through scattered portholes and elliptical skylights.

With such a large space – and a busy family – comfort and sustainability were also very important to the owners. We used ECO-Block insulated concrete form, with a selection of cladding materials which stays true to the contemporary riverside location. The combination of a photo-voltaic array, in-slab hydronic heating, solar pool heating and hot water systems would also help with the bulk of the family’s energy needs.