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A truly considered and thoughtful home, this simple addition to a weatherboard cottage in one of Perth’s loveliest suburbs has become an expression of the owners desire for inclusion and commitment to their community.

The clients’ brief detailed a love of the outdoors and with two small children in primary school, an important component was for the large backyard to be as much a part of the design as the internal living spaces. Seeking to fulfil this and an overarching vision for a unique family-oriented home with warm, cosy, crafted, beautiful, informal and happy spaces, Klopper & Davis Architects took a holistic approach to the design. Responding sensitively to site, landscape and existing built elements the new addition is modest and thoughtful, positioned with a significant setback and nearly concealed from the street.

The addition comprises of living and family spaces designed with direct views from the kitchen through to the back garden, allowing the parents to relax and enjoy the children playing outside – yet still visible. Curved custom-made steel door and windows are a special feature and soften the natural light that floods in. The flat roof that covers the addition extends beyond the windows to create a snug and protected entertaining area between indoors and outdoors.

In keeping with their design philosophy of minimal intervention, Klopper & Davis Architects have reconfigured the main body of the original timber house to cater for private spaces. The traditional central hallway with rooms leading off either side has been retained and treated with care, restoring the timber floorboards and painting the internal brickwork walls with a fresh coat of white. Fashioning the original lounge and dining rooms into a master bedroom with large walk-in-robe and fourth bedroom respectively, plumbing in the original kitchen now services a large ensuite for the parents’ and bathroom for children at the end of the hall.

Materials of recycled brick and steel framed doors are sensitively juxtaposed against the original weatherboard house. While the recycled bricks used to build the extension are painted in the kitchen and living rooms, they have been left exposed to create a unique final room for the kids. Mimicking the curves of the arches, the team have created a sculptural double curved feature to the building corner, a form expressed and experienced both within “The Kids Room” and outside in the garden.

A complement to the textural qualities and simple, informal nature of the house is the stunning landscape design. The design incorporates latticed brickwork, sculptural concrete pipe planter boxes, Jarrah sleeper veggie boxes, a combination of recycled brick and limestone paving, corten edging and steel fencing. Add in a simple pool, grass and an outdoor shower and it is a layered garden, but it works.

The condition of the existing building contributed significantly to the overall cost of the project, requiring a near re-build of a heritage house – new roofing, new external walls and insulation to ceilings, walls and below floor – to meet current building codes and thermal performance.

Rosalie Street’s alterations and additions deliver extra space, light and amenity, while retaining the original charm and character of the house.