Magee Residence

Swanbourne, Western Australia

A small corner lot. A busy owner wanting a retreat from the world, without losing her connection to it. The result? A light-filled, private sanctuary which brings the world to her.

A professional who travels a lot for work, the owner wanted a sophisticated, low-maintenance house which would be a retreat for her when at home in Perth. Privacy and a sense of self-containment were priorities for the owner, but she also wanted to feel connected to the wider world.
The corner lot is small, but offered great opportunities to capture unique views. Our design maximised the space with a vertical, multi-level plan with outlooks over the green parks on each side. In contrast, the entry courtyard is intimate and welcoming, even though it faces the street. Given the vertical nature of the home, we wanted to bring in as much natural light as possible. The central void houses a staircase with glass treads to allow light to penetrate throughout the home. Convenience and self-sufficiency were important for a sole occupant with a lot of time commitments, so we included a private gym and a dumb waiter to connect each level from the basement to the rooftop. The home also has extensive multimedia throughout, offering the owner ‘windows on the world’ through technology.
We were very aware of keeping the potential resale value of the property at a maximum. While the lot is small and perfect for one, it was important to bring as much into the space as possible and consider its future possibilities. We maximised the living space by sinking the carport into a half basement and adding a rooftop terrace with room to entertain and a plunge pool with a spectacular view. For the interior we designed a stepped-level plan, dividing the house into two parts offset from each other vertically. This effectively gives the structure five levels, with the light-filled stairwell in the centre – plenty of room and enough privacy for a couple or a family. The uniquely pitched roof and glass-ended plunge pool also add significant street appeal to the property, capitalising on its elevation and prime corner position.