Athelstan Road Residence


A sustainable coastal home, inspired by the dunes and built around a corridor of light.

This family home has an enviable location in beachside Cottesloe. The owners, a professional couple with two young children, wanted a family home which was spacious and contemporary, but still grounded in the natural beauty of the coastal setting.

The dunes of the surrounding landscape gave us a palette of natural materials in limestone and timber, which contrasted with traditional ‘beach-house’ elements like raw galvanised finishes, corrugated metal and weatherboard-look cladding. A long spine wall of rammed limestone adds a reassuring solidity to the light-filled interior spaces, and links the rooms as you walk from the front to the back. The central corridor is visible in the shape of the house and acts as a long, gallery-style hallway at the heart of the home. Filled with the family’s collection of artwork and an ever-changing play of light throughout the day, it creates a transition space which is beautiful and rewarding in itself. The sloping roof forms mimic the undulating dunes, as well as accommodating the interior’s dramatic height and raking ceilings. We also took inspiration from the iconic brightly coloured shacks on Brighton Beach, incorporating flashes of colour in the front door and in key highlights throughout the home.

Given the home’s coastal location, it was also important to the owners that it be as sustainable and energy-efficient as possible, while allowing them to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle they love. The house is designed in line with solar passive principles, with north-facing spaces to catch the winter sun and avoid the worst of the summer heat. High-level windows bring in abundant natural light and vent hot air out of the open-plan kitchen-dining room. The main living area spills out onto a spacious deck, which overlooks the private pool. We installed an adjustable Vergola roof over the alfresco, so that the family can use this indoor-outdoor space whatever the weather.