A Considered Insertion – Macdonald Road House by Philip Stejskal Architecture
As an active engagement with its surrounds, Macdonald Road House opens generously to its streetscape, while perforating façade elements sit softly and naturally, offering glimpses of the home within. Philip Stejskal Architecture build on their own core principles of enabling aging in place and the creation of architecture that positively contributes beyond its site boundary.
Replacing an existing 1980’s home, Macdonald Road House affords its owners the opportunity to age in place where they are connected to their community. Through a custom designed home that facilitates an ease of movement, an open bond to the surrounds occurs, bringing the outside in. Located in Applecross, in Perth, the newly conceived home sits in a highly visible and prominent location, and as a result, the proposal needed to embody its own uniqueness. Nature and its healing powers are most prominently at play, seeing Philip Stejskal Architecture create a modest and highly considered home that aims to contribute to the area beyond its façade.
Built by Portrait Custom Homes, together with landscaping by Annghi Tran Landscape Architecture, Macdonald Road House opens generously to its curated garden setting. While seemingly protected from the front, the internal opening of the façade allows an ease of flow between inside and out, encouraging a spill over. Surrounding the home, as an iconic insertion, the traditional verandah becomes a sculptural expression, while also allowing the home to be pushed back, creating a relief space. While the encasing materiality reflects a connection to the natural and the familiar, the articulation and openings inject a patterned rhythm, creating and casting patterns as it engages with the sun throughout the day. The home then becomes enlivened through these patterns, as a reminder of time and the seasons.
Integrated are sustainable systems that support a passive optimisation of solar gains, while opening features encourage natural flow and ventilation internally. As a downsizing exercise, the brief for such a home becomes more efficient, and needs to perform as well as functionally allow a connection between its owners and space. Influences are drawn from the traditional Australian homestead, which were then reinterpreted through a modern lens, and together with contemporary principles of openness, the resulting home captures a moment in time, and how we live today. While the area it sits also houses many ill-fitting large homes, Macdonald Roadhouse is a considered insertion that responds to appropriateness in scale, form and materiality, to the area, and the Australian condition.
Activating its highly prominent site, Macdonald Road House stands as an animated expression of form and function, seeing Philip Stejskal Architecture create a welcomed addition to the area, hopefully also as an inspiring muse.