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Un-built: Cottesloe House

February 10, 2011

Black Line One X Architecture Studio remodels an inward-looking, mid-twentieth century brick house in Perth to embrace natural light and open space.

Perth houses from the mid- to late-twentieth century almost always follow a common theme: they tend to be planned and constructed with a total disconnection from the external environment, bunkering inwards as a way of shielding the residents from the intense summer heat. This three bedroom double brick home is no exception.

The majority of these residential West Australian properties sit on a small part of an extensive open and flat backyard, predominately based on the standard quarter-acre block.

The clients, a family of five, have arranged the existing backyard of their house to take full advantage of the ample natural light it receives during the morning and afternoons. The garden boasts established fruit trees, gum trees and planter beds full of seasonal vegetables. In addition there is a designated area for the chickens and rooster they keep. The retention of these qualities was imperative throughout the design process.

This project needed to combine the elements of external light and open space to fit the brief. The design also consists of a new master bedroom, WIR, ensuite, a quiet space to relax (without a television), provisions for a small gym, as well as additional storage and new discrete laundry. Parts of the existing house also require improvement and re-planning to facilitate the whole project, and site, to ensure they work symbiotically.

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