David Barr Architects


Claremont, WA, Australia

James Lyall Smith

Project Type
  • Residential
  • Claremont, WA, Australia
  • 360m2
Project Year
  • 2017
  • Robert Frith
Project Team
  • David Barr
  • Stephen Hicks
  • Silk Constructions
Structural Engineer
  • Wood and Grieve
  • Gradient Landscapes
  • Claremont, WA, Australia

Freshwater by David Barr Architects is a rear extension to a federation house in the Western Australian suburb of Claremont.

This project adds a new living and dining area, kitchen with scullery, covered external area, and pool. These additions form a U-shaped plan, with a garden and lawns pulled into the center of the extension. Built on a site with a significant rise to the rear, the new volumes are embedded into the earth, level changes seamlessly incorporated into the architecture and landscape.

The project continues the David Barr Architects exploration of ‘deep openings’, with west facing doors and windows sheltered by metre deep eaves that emphasise the movement between a protected internal space and the outside. Elsewhere, daylight’s effect on the spaces is celebrated through a screened timber bay window in the living room and a brass lined skylight that bounces golden light into the kitchen.

While materials and colours are restrained, the project is playful and adventurous. Built using a combination of rendered masonry blade walls and timber cladding, the extension is composed of simple geometric forms that ‘shift and slide’ as they intersect with each other. The stained timber cladding wraps the extension at roof level, binding the new elements under a cohesive datum, while a double height volume caps the extension at its rear, a punctuation mark that finishes the project.

The modern yet restrained nature of this design epitomizes the trademark design mantra of David Barr Architects ensuring that this home perfectly encapsulates the true essence of Western Australian architecture.

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Robert Frith

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