New house in the Perth suburbs turns traditional garden design back to front...
Dalkeith is an old suburb of Perth, surrounded on three sides by the Swan River and including some of Perth’s finest old mansions. This residence shares the street with 100-year-old bungalows, along with questionable modern day interpretations of past and international styles of architecture. The project rejects this context and rejects the contemporary desire to exhibit power and wealth through architecture.
Mostly concealed behind an existing street wall, this project quietly but confidently addresses the street while creating a delicately controlled sequence of unfolding spaces that engage with a hidden garden. The architects explored the relationship between the house and garden by adopting a set of elements explored in a past desert community centre project. These elements included a platform, pavilions, parasols and parasites. These four elements combine to configure the site in an interactive manner, utilising every part of the site and dismissing the traditional notion of a front and back garden.
Site organisation is the beginning of a collection of low tech, cost- effective environmental devices that are bound by the architectural intent, generally concealed from view and denying the contemporary and popular image of a sustainable house. The pavilions are articulated to allow wind to penetrate deep in to the house (Perth is the third windiest city in the world), the wind is cooled by shallow ponds adjacent to the low level windows, hot air is drawn out the top of the window. The articulated form increases the roof area and water catchment possibility; all roof water is stored in sub-surface concrete tanks and supplies both the pool and house. Water is heated by a solar hot water system with back up gas instantaneous heater and sun heated roof mounted pipes.