New living, dining, kitchen, laundry, en-suite, bathroom and wine cellar added to a 1920’s cottage.
The Sleep-out and Lean-to were removed from the rear of the house taking the house back to its’ original condition.
Relationship of the project to its site and context
This design explores traditional West Australian concepts of domestic architecture- the Lean-to and the Bullnose verandah. In this situation the lean-to stretches to be longer than the original house and eventually ‘leans back’ and finishes in the form of a Bullnose, a play on the formal language of the Bullnose verandah. Unlike the traditional Bullnose verandah this is more than just an aesthetic or formal device, here the bullnose eventually wraps back and floats above the floor level and deck to offer a shelf and external seat- a romantic gesture that we believe typifies this place (Perth) and our lifestyle.
From the beginning the project attempted to integrate landscape and architecture (landform architecture), the extension was stretched along the long axis of the site to orientate North and maximise the possibility of spaces being connected back to landscape. Openings were placed to focus on existing trees (interior space celebrating existing landscape/trees).
The extension is not a simple repeat of the original house; instead it attempts a form of contextual interpretation (the context of the house and surrounds). It attempts to repeat the level of detail and craft that are apparent in the original house and the window fenestration and use of material. It understands the organisation of the existing spaces but uses these spaces for maximum effect with the new spaces.
The sand finished rendered podium to the extension has been introduced to connect the limestone podium of the original house both visually and physically. The white sand finished render on the South facing wall continues the collage concept of the original house, the lapped recycled Jarrah continues the tradition of the lapped Jarrah fences and connects with the bark patterning of the old Ironbark tree at the rear of the house.
Architectural expression of the concept
This house is a weekend retreat from the clients’ main house in Albany. The Albany house looks over the Sound with a magnificent garden and the ubiquitous rock as garden feature. This block was purchased primarily for its size but the clients requested a large open entertaining space integrated back to the garden. This resulted in the stretched project, North orientated with plenty of garden. We designed the landscaping as integral to the garden from the first sketches, this is now being implemented and will eventually create a sense of native bush with-in South Perth, boundary lines will once more be concealed by the colour and aromatic smells of native Perth plant species. This will also provide the necessary privacy as all four sides of this house are overlooked by apartment buildings or other houses.
The new spaces have also been designed as a contrast to the existing introverted spaces. In keeping with the clients’ desire for a large open, light space we utilised large areas of glass looking on to the landscaping instead of small windows, light Victorian Ash timber flooring instead of Jarrah, spaces free of ornament relying on the beauty that exists in being part of the changing seasons and movement of the sun and the changing colours and scale of the garden.
Low cost and standard materials available locally were incorporated throughout the house. We have attempted to innovate within the parameters of what is both available and economical and what is possible in our local building industry.
Standard detailing has been incorporated as well as pragmatic structural systems. Materials have been selected both from a contextual, ecological and on their suitability to perform the desired outcome. Rendered brick on the curved walls, Bullnose Zincalume on the roof and wall, all these are standard and traditional forms and economical within the building industry of Perth. The geometries incorporated are clear geometric forms, a curve between two straight walls.
Recycled Jarrah boarding and CCA Pine decking have been used both as a suitably ecological material and as an economical material.
Spaces have been organised for solar gain and cross ventilation, reducing the requirement for artificial heating ,cooling and lighting.
Cabinets and benchtops are generally from laminates or epoxy finished, the kitchen benchtop being constructed from stainless steel with integral sinks for long term durability and this also proved to be more economical than post fixed sinks.
Inexpensive and low energy light fittings have been used.
Minor modifications have been made to the original house
Environmental / energy efficiency
The house was specifically orientated to north and the roof overhang extended to allow the winter sun to penetrate deep in to the house and to keep the summer sun off the glass. The roof overhang extends out in proportion to the increasing height of the glass.
The rear wall shifts and curves to orientate to capture the South-west winds and to orientate the kitchen back to the living space and garden. The South wall has been constructed from masonry and acts as a thermal mass wall collecting the winter sun.
No air conditioning has been installed in this house.
The North facing wall is clad in lapped recycled jarrah, old unwanted floor joists were split and lapped, the presence of old nail and bolt holes express the materials former use.
CCA pine has been used on the deck instead of old growth forest timbers. CCA framing and joists have been used where timber framing is required.
Where jarrah is used it has been constructed from small members instead of large members (window and door frames). The handrail to the stair also expresses the precious nature of this material.
Organisation of spaces inside and out
As previously mentioned spaces have generally been orientated along the East- West axis to maximise the possibility for North orientation and solar gain in winter. The en-suite and bathroom have been located at the transition of the old and new house and formed to create a dynamic transition between the original house and the new living areas.
Walls on the south have been shaped by considerations of cross ventilation and to connect the kitchen to the living and to the garden. This wall also forms a ‘cool’ South court.
The North wall orientates to true North and is primarily constructed from protected glass to link the inside spaces to the outside spaces and capture winter sun.
Structure, construction, materials, services
This is a house for now and in thirty years time. Materials have been selected on the basis of their transformation over time. Like the landscaping associated with this house, the materials will transform. The white rendered walls will darken and stain and eventually merge in appearance with the sand finished rendered podium, the Jarrah will soften in colour and turn a silky grey, the Zincalume will mellow and soften. All this will happen as the landscaping continues to grow increasing in scale and power.
We have documented the materials used on this project with close up photographs and intend to visit and document this in twenty years time.
Floor- concrete on fill
Walls- rendered masonry, sand finished render and steel trowel finished render.
Lapped recycled Jarrah joists, split and nailed on CCA pine framing as wall cladding
Victorian Ash panelling (continuation of the floor material up the wall)
Zincalume custom orb profile (continuation of the roof)
Doors- clear anodised aluminium, Jarrah and steel framed
Roof- steel purlins, zincalume custom orb