Project Team: David Barr Architects: David Barr, Stephen Hicks and Dennis Silva
Project Status: Under Construction
Photography: David Barr Architects
Having previously lived in the same beach side suburb in a high-end project home, and been disappointed by the experience, our clients wanted a house that better reflected the way they wanted to live. A family of five, they dreamed of a house that had a balance of shared spaces and private rooms, allowing the house to adapt to their changing needs as kids grew from toddlers to teens. We worked with them to create a series of linked common spaces that are open to the garden and street, capturing views, breezes and light. These rooms were arranged around a double height external area that forms the heart of the house – a protected space that can be used most of the year for meals and recreation. The upper floor contains bedrooms and a smaller family room, with the two levels linked by a sculptural steel staircase that faces into a planted courtyard garden.
Sick of a house that relied entirely on air-conditioning and mechanical heating, we were engaged to design a climate responsive home that captured the south-westerly ‘Fremantle Doctor’ winds and remained liveable through the hot summers and cold(ish) winters. We orientated the house to the north, capturing the winter sun, but screened and shaded windows from the summer sun with fine timber batten screens. Designed for the 21st century, the house has a PV and battery storage system that powers the house and car charging for electric vehicles.
The house’s materials reflect our client’s desire for a refined, low maintenance property that stands out amongst a sea of beige and grey. We used carefully detailed (and highly insulated) red brickwork to create a striking arrangement of solid, rectangular volumes that are then opened up with expansive operable windows and glass doors. The timber screens form a protective layer, creating privacy in a heavily built up neighbourhood.
Internally, rooms are light and airy, a polished concrete floor bouncing sunlight deep into the house. Service spaces like bathrooms and pantry are concealed, leaving an open plan layout of shared areas that are brought to life by our clients and their furniture, artwork, and cooking.