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Our clients came to us as ‘Empty Nesters’ seeking to downsize and build their ‘forever home’ after recently retiring.

The site is quite elevated and the area falls away to the river so the views northward to Mosman Park, along the Swan River and over to the city are by far the site’s best qualities.

The core idea of the design was to take full advantage of the views and northerly aspect by literally opening the house upwards and outwards. The rather dramatic ‘folded’ skillion roof and the angular plan is an unmistakable response to this idea. This is further reinforced by a huge expanse of glass in the living area which creates a seamless transition to an outdoor living space on the balcony with views afar.

River views are a premium in the area and we, as did the client, wanted to be respectful of the adjoining neighbours. The angle (in plan) of the balcony and the roof form was created to provide a greater setback and reduced building height for the southern neighbour.

We designed the plan to take advantage of cross ventilation opportunities when needed. Even with a strong south west sea breeze, the entire living space can open up to the river and is perfectly protected.

The fall of the site from the rear to front also let us create a very dramatic entry statement with a large cantilever to give it grandeur and interest.

Given our clients are the sole occupants, they effectively live on the upper floor. Their bedroom and main living spaces co-exist up there.

For investment purposes it’s still a family home futureproofed for resale.

The engineering of the balcony that cantilevers nearly 5 meters over the entry was a significant event. The flying tip of this roof also involves a significant amount of cantilevered structure with the ‘fold’ in the roof shape added all sorts of complexities.

The rammed recycled concrete and limestone mix is a specialist product and has its own limitations so we had to work closely with the installer to get all our ideas to work, namely the two storey wall that has a cantilever section (which was required to be installed prior to the upper floor slab.

We managed the budget throughout the design and documentation phase by having regard for scope and level of finish. The project came in very close to budget and the client proceeded without any changes.

The rammed walls are made up of 50% recycled crushed concrete & 50% limestone. They create a very large thermal mass and the house has reduced fluctuations in internal temperature.

Zinc cladding is less energy intensive to produce, is 100% recyclable and has a very long lifespan on buildings with minimal maintenance.

There are two rainwater collection tanks used for drinking (filtered tap in the kitchen), the garden (including a vegetable patch) and auto leveler for the pool (which has a roll-out cover to reduce evaporation and heat loss – its heated via heat pump).