The house and its interior were designed with a melting pot of the clients’ own life stories and that of the suburb in a celebration of the specific place in which the house and its interior are located and a reflection of the lives of people that inhabit the spaces.
Textures and feel of the house are intended to provide the owners with an emotional connection to the Mediterranean and their own Greek heritage. Colourful terrazzo floor tiles are a unifying base in their expression of colour and balance the coloured windows, with coloured glass being a component of the client’s brief.
With the busy street intersection being an active zone of traffic noise and local foot traffic, living spaces were elevated above the ground plane to achieve a sense of security, provide better access to winter solar penetration and to allow an outlook to the neighbouring tree canopy.
Our much-loved clients returned to live in the suburb in which they had worked and provided excellent service to the local community for over thirty years through their former petrol station on this site of their new house. There is a community spirit about the house as it encourages engagement between occupants and the local community.
The house contains a retired couple essentially on the upper floor level where they enjoy greater outlook, access to light and ventilation than they would otherwise have experienced. Ground floor provides overflow space for grandchildren and for future aging in place live in careers.
The house features wall profiles, voids, balustrades, cabinetwork and ceilings at radius, taking their cue as graphic parts of the many arch forms common throughout the existing built form in the suburb of Nedlands.
The placement of the mass of the house close to the street corner responds to the sites transitional zone at higher density as it sits between the commercial buildings opposite and the larger traditional residential sites.
We sought to connect this new building with the many examples of two-story walk-up apartment buildings that resemble enlarged houses from the 1930’s post-depression building period within Nedlands.
123 House seeks to provide my clients and the local community with a new building that sits comfortably in the suburb, as though this building has been born from its surroundings.
My clients owned and ran an Ampol service station on this site for thirty years before decommissioning the service station and subdividing the site while maintaining the site on the corner for themselves. With the local community fondly remembering their service, memory of the former petrol station is embodied in the building fabric through various means such as the detailed concrete projections which reference the old Ampol logo, the use of coloured glass which references the colours of petrol and engine oil, the balustrade inspired by the spokes of a car wheel and the letterbox that wobbles upon a vehicle suspension spring to the delight of the owners and the postie.
Honest expression of function of materials as off-form concrete elements show where they are working structurally, and changes in brick bonding creates construction joints.
Building mass and roofscape are articulated to allow the building to address the street corner, thereby providing the benefit of multiple points of solar penetration into the centre of the house through highlight windows.