WA Architecture Award – Gallery House Feature
Craig Steere Architects took out one of the Architecture Awards for Residential Architecture – Houses (New), at the recent WA Architecture Awards.
design-estate chatted to their design team about the award winning house.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of the job?
“Located on a picturesque site in Nedlands, overlooking the Swan River, this house has been designed to respond to the current and future needs of a growing family.
The buildings longitudinal volume is organized into two distinct pavilion forms oriented around a central courtyard. The entry pavilion houses the main living area and the main suite above, with both levels accessing river and suburban views. The rear pavilion was designed to accommodate four boys – incorporating a large living room connected to an outdoor living area and four identical bedrooms. A transitional gallery space accommodates a large kitchen that opens onto the central courtyard and swimming pool and provides a central, communal family hub. Along the spine of this program the service rooms are tucked away retaining the emphasis on the elegant gallery aesthetic that draws you through the buildings’ program.
The brief called for a strong connection between inside out and this was achieved with the use of a linear pergola structure that visually ties the pavilions together. The residence has a distinct minimalist, but warm expression with clean lines and cubic forms. A simple palette of materials has been selected to complement the robust form.
What was design process behind the home?
The design process behind the home was firstly to develop a brief with the client to understand their needs, and developing an architectural concept that complimented lifestyle of its occupants. From the initial inception of the scheme, rigorous testing was carried out against the architectural concepts to measure its level of success against the brief outline. A series of techniques were employed to present the schemes to the client; through sketches, and 3D walkthrough models to gain an understanding of the volumetric aspects of the project.
Describe the site characteristics?
The home is located on a long narrow site, oriented on an angle approximately on a north-east; south-west axis, with a steep slope downwards towards the south-west corner of the site. An existing tree located on the streetscape lawn was retained and integrated as a feature tree in the main street elevation.
What was the backbone of the project and most noticeable material?
The residence incorporates distinct minimalist and contemporary, but warm expression with clean lines and cubic forms. A simple palette of materials has been selected including off-white rendered wall areas, grey natural stone, dark timber flooring and dark timber accent cabinet elements contrasting with white acrylic paneling. Zinc cladding, complements the robust form and achieves a low-maintenance design.
The transitional gallery space accommodates a large grey stone and white acrylic kitchen that opens onto the central tiled courtyard with grey marble BBQ plinth and white quartz finished swimming pool and provides a central communal hub for the family to come together to enjoy meals and quality family time.
Along the spine of this program the service rooms including the scullery, laundry and powder room are tucked away, concealed within large white, floor to ceiling panels of acrylic cabinetry to retain the emphasis on the elegant gallery aesthetic that draws you through the home. The most noticeable material is the acrylic benchtop and cupboard doors, which provide a soft diffusion of light, while the matt finish helps to manage all harsh glare or reflection of light.
What is your personal favourite parts of the home?
We feel the kitchen is the most successful (and our favourite) part of the home, as it has become a central node for the family to gather to interact and easily doubles up as a dining space with the generous kitchen island bench.
Photo: Jack Lovel