• North Cottesloe Beach House, Cottesloe. Design by Craig Steere Architects based in Perth, Western Australia
  • North Cottesloe Beach House, Cottesloe. Design by Craig Steere Architects based in Perth, Western Australia
  • North Cottesloe Beach House, Cottesloe. Design by Craig Steere Architects based in Perth, Western Australia
  • North Cottesloe Beach House, Cottesloe. Design by Craig Steere Architects based in Perth, Western Australia

…Our client desired to convert their existing house into a larger architect designed family home

  • INFO

    Our client lives in an existing brick and tile single storey residence in Cottesloe. With a desire to convert their house into a larger architect designed family home with entertainment spaces, we were approached to prepare a design that reflected casual, beachside home–loosely inspired by the Hamptons beach style. A compact site with narrow boundaries to the east and west side of the block, the site also needed to address other conditions such as overlooking from neighbouring properties and a site that sloped down towards the west.

    The client was keen to develop the block with a new two storey residence that captured views to the ocean from the upper living area. A children’s zone on the lower level would have a direct connection to the rear backyard, with a second function as an outdoor entertaining space sheltered from sea breezes. The client also desired ample storage, and a lockable double car garage. The design for the home responded to the brief in the form of a long, narrow building capped with a flat roof to maximise the height of the structure. Maximising the height was critical to successfully capture ocean views from the upper floor. A flat plane roof conceived as a simple form also offered the project cost efficiencies to enable the budget to be expended in more priority areas. From the street level, the home splits into three levels—an excavated basement garage, the lower level (which is raised above the footpath level) and an upper level. A good balance was struck between floor to ceiling heights to ensure the oceans views were not compromised whilst maintaining spaces that feel generous in proportions. To the west facade, a pair of angled ‘blades’ on the floor plan is extruded vertically, and funnels the views from within the home outwards towards the ocean whilst controlling privacy to and from the neighbouring properties. This same architectural language is echoed in the eastern façade, where the blades frame the driveway leading down to the garage. The skillion roof overhangs past these angled blades to complete the framed view and controls the sun and harsh coastal weather. Open plan floor spaces help to maximise the feeling of space, and high-level windows to the north and south bring in quality natural light deeper into the interiors whilst maintaining privacy from the adjacent properties. Louvered windows are provided strategically within the house to encourage natural cross ventilation with the ability to control fresh sea breezes.

    There were challenges to achieve the required floor space and room functions. This was managed through maintaining simplicity in design to control cost efficiencies, with the lower living area designed to allow for future division for an added guest room or study. As the form of the house sought to maximise the size of the family home on a compact lot, consideration was given to reduce the impact of the massing as view from the streetscape. This was achieved in breaking the façade into smaller design elements (such as portal ‘frame’ and cantilevered balconies) that step in and out to create depth and interest. The decision to excavate the basement level also reduced the bulk of the garage when viewed from the street.

    Within the interiors, warm timber tones and white weatherboard cladding compliment a palette of raw concrete, which extend from the inside to the outside. Towards the rear of the home, the angled blades and decking are cladded in timber to create a dramatic funnelled aperture leading from the garden into the home. The timber decking is specified to weather naturally from exposure to the elements in a move that celebrates the natural aging of materials. Black metalwork provides accents to the white timber cladding, and the use of this accent is then extended into the interior architecture. Cabinetry items reflect a disciplined palette of crisp white paired with black accent detailing to provide a sharp contrasted interior look that is timeless and complimentary to the soft furnishings.