Bayswater, WA, Australia
A HOME AMONG THE GUMTREES (OR NATIVES, GENERALLY)
It’s nice when the brief calls for a larger backyard than house. Too often the building footprint consumes most of the site, leaving little room for mother nature. Considered and designed outdoor spaces enhance interior spaces, every time. Whether it is a leafy outlook or a truly functional outdoor living space, not simply ‘what’s leftover on the block’. A bedroom window that stares into a colorbond fence?… none of that here. It takes a brave and confident client to decide to build on a smaller footprint than what is permitted, eschewing the whole ‘design for resale’ who-ha that proliferates Perth. Building setbacks are large here, with the extension hugging the original cottage tightly, and retaining an essentially square floor plan. The client designed and constructed the garden spaces themselves. It has one of the most impressive veggie gardens we have seen, a fire pit, outdoor dining, and brick planters holding a variety of natives that are slowly creeping around the building and making themselves at home.
A three-bedroom home that is simple, functional, and allows for a large garden, with good access to north light and leafy views. Minimal works were done to the existing cottage, which is something we always strive to do where possible. The original ‘lean-to’ was demolished to make way for two new bedrooms, an ensuite for the existing master bedroom, and a new dining and lounge area that opens onto the garden. Existing jarrah floorboards that change to a burnished concrete floor marks the change from old to new. The extension is two steps lower than the existing cottage, meaning it has a level transition to the rear garden.