Positioned on a high-profile corner, Tim Wright Architects not only had the task of expanding this family home and meeting council requirements, he had to do so under the watchful eye of the locals.
“The existing house had a degree of heritage requirements, in particular, the front colonnade”, says Tim. Being a prominent site, Tim explains there was a strong attachment to the heritage veranda and many of the local residents were apprehensive about the home’s renovation.
The honest renovation of Ocean House
The brief evolved and shifted throughout the project, however, remaining at the core was to maintain the existing character of the home while making more space for the family. “The new portion speaks to the front veranda elements by creating continuity through the form and choice of materials,” Tim explains.
The modern extension was built of off-form concrete, an incredibly durable product that could remain relatively maintenance-free even in the home’s ocean-side environment.
In addition to more square footage and revived interiors, the home was better appointed to maximise the use of the generous corner garden and better accommodate indoor-outdoor living given Perth’s warm climate. Rather than opt for seamless modern glazing, Tim specified steel-framed glass windows and doors to add a “crafted element” and a sense of honesty to the building’s modernist aesthetic.
It was this aesthetic and the home’s heritage frontage that informed the landscape, designed by Myles Baldwin. “To tie the two architectural styles together we decided to utilise old world plant material to be arranged in a contemporary manner,” says Myles.
Well known for designing gardens in Sydney and Brisbane, the project allowed Myles to play with a combination of succulent materials not commonly used in the areas such as Alpina flowering gingers and mixing them with Mediterranean plant varieties typically seen in Perth gardens.
“It resulted in a really interesting mix that a lot of people haven’t seen before,” says Myles of the verdant garden.
Nurturing the synergy between the architecture and landscape continued with the specification of the hard surfacing materials and the built form of key elements, in particular, the swimming pool.
Chalford® Limestone flows seamlessly from the interior threshold throughout the outdoor entertaining areas and poolside, complimenting the grey tones of the off-form concrete architecture. “It’s a fairly nude stone, which I use quite a lot in my projects,” says Myles. “It’s downplayed a bit, but it’s beautiful to look at with lots of texture and versatility. It’s a great base stone to work with outdoors.”
One of the standouts of this coastal oasis is the generously-sized pool which was designed in response to the client’s brief and the contemporary architectural elements. The fluid shape of the pool with its “modernist curves” allows for the planting to organically mould into the built form and reduce the mass of the pool, explains Myles. As the garden matures the reduction in volume will become more evident.
“When you look at the pool from the house it’s quite recessive, but once you get closer you notice it’s a substantial structure”, says Myles.
The lush oasis and honest form of this coastal home have respected the building’s original character and ornate features while enhancing the occupant’s lifestyle. Tim accredits much of the project’s success to the synergy between the architect, interior designer, landscape designer and client.
And while many may have been apprehensive of what was to be of the corner sight, the architecture and landscape have only added to the streetscape of the prominent neighbourhood.