Considered Urban Infill – House B by Whispering Smith
Perth, WA, Australia
An extension of the principles Whispering Smith established with House A, House B is a further exploration of a more considered approach to urban infill. Retaining and reinvigorating the suburban character of Perth, the project speaks to the value of enhancing through consideration, instead of abolishing through demolition.
House B, and its counterpart House A, are case studies that form part of the same development by Whispering Smith director Kate Fitzgerald. Wanting to showcase how the engagement of measured and mindful architects can enhance the character of the urban fabric, Whispering Smith embarked on the project as an antidote to the propensity for demolishing existing housing stock and building large, ill-considered new homes in its place. Informed by an understanding and appreciation of context, scale and appropriateness, Houses A and B were fuelled by the architects’ passion for improving the residential condition on a macro and micro planning level.
House B, and its counterpart House A, are case studies that form part of the same development by Whispering Smith director Kate Fitzgerald.
In the case of House B, the new work reutilises an existing post-war brick structure. Perfectly positioned at the top of a sloping site, the home overlooks the valley and opportunistically benefits from the sea breezes and views of the sunset. Originally two bedrooms, the extension expands the home and its living spaces, articulated through a connecting corridor. The utilisation of the existing structure ensures the original home remains principally intact, and the extension is expressed through crafted elements like the arched glazed doorways and subtle and tactile materiality insertions.
An extension of the principles Whispering Smith established with House A, House B is a further exploration of a more considered approach to urban infill.
Utilising the existing mature trees on the site for passive heat control, the home and its extension engages with its landscape. Much like House A, House B is a study of purpose and excess. Making a comment on the typical and expected nature of developments within Perth currently, the deliberate reuse and engagement with important existing aspects is at the core of the projects’ success. Through the insertion of a new and contemporary kitchen, custom joinery to suit contemporary life, and a restrained palette, the proposal is one intended to appeal to many.
House B cleverly reinvigorates and repurposes its original home, proposing a contemporary relevance and a sustainable use of materiality, resources and existing vegetation on site. Whispering Smith’s pioneering approach, taking the development into the architects’ own hands and providing the blueprint to showcase and curated suburban condition paves the way for a more considered and effective model of development.