Forrest Street Residence

Peppermint Grove, Western Australia

A love of the native landscape inspired a unique home that gently unfolds among the lemon-scented gums, and works in harmony with the WA climate.

Completed: 2009

Size: 715m/sq

Awards: RAIA WA Chapter Architecture Awards 2013, Residential-Houses - Architecture Award

Filters: Awards / Single Residential / Suburban / Sustainability

Sheltered in the leafy heart of Peppermint Grove, this home is situated on a gently sloping lot surrounded by mature native trees. The owners were very drawn to the landscape and wanted to maintain the distinctly Western Australian feel of the property, with a strong focus on sustainability.

Inspired by the concept of a thick stone wall unfolding across the landscape, our design draws out the horizontal lines of the buildings from east to west. The imposing stone facade unpacks itself into a zig-zag of indoor/outdoor spaces which give the owners the feeling of walking through the landscape as they move from room to room. This effect is emphasised by an interior courtyard which contains a fragment of the garden outside. With such a dominance of solid stone, it was important to give the home lightness as well. The colour palette is gentle and pale, with limestone finishes mimicking the natural tones of the lemon-scented gums, and we brightened some of the spaces with strips of warm artificial lighting. The property is designed to grow and change with the cycles of nature, merging further with the landscape as the limestone weathers and the garden matures.

This home makes use of some of the best sustainable technologies available. Its orientation is a highly successful model of passive solar design, catching the northern sun in winter and minimising the east-west aspects in summer. The windows are double glazed and protected by external sun shielding, and the family are able to enjoy the outdoor spaces year-round thanks to a variable shade cover over the main alfresco. Rainwater, collected from the roof, sustains the house entirely throughout the winter months, and provides for kitchen and laundry consumption during summer. An underground grey-water system recycles waste water to sustain the water-wise native garden. A solar heating system also handles the family’s hot water needs and pool heating.

Jointy with URBANFRAMEWORKS – Osnat Harlap

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