Project: Curtin Residence
Architecture: Cast Studio
Builder: Burgio Construction
Stylist: Amy Collins Walker
Location: Cottesloe, Perth, Western Australia
Area: 73 m2
Photo Credits: Jack Lovel
Text by Cast Studio
This small residential extension for a professional couple nestles between an existing brick ‘California Bungalow’ and a raised pool with deck, replacing a dark ‘lean to’ addition with daylit spaces that are connected to the site and the sky. Sitting almost exactly on the footprint of the demolished addition, the project brief was for ‘better, not more’.
Conceptually the project is a pitched roof volume cut into two pieces – one east facing space with living and kitchen areas, the other rotated perpendicular and containing a study and laundry. The pitched roof allows for a series of high-level windows that bring light deep into the rooms throughout the day, ensuring that the modest rooms feel generous and lively in section. In this way the project inverts the logic of the existing house, with its lower flat ceilings and internalised spaces.
Externally the new forms respond to the site conditions and existing house – a low roof valley joins the living volume to the existing house eaves and then rises to draw in light, while the study space is respectfully lowered towards the southern neighbours and opens to the north.
Primarily built with brick walls and steel roofs, the extension is a cost-effective construction that echoes the existing house’s forms and materials. A dado line of unpainted brick wraps the new spaces with soft bagged brickwork over, subtly inverting the stone dado and brick of the existing house. Sitting on existing brick paving, the new buildings appear to be drawn up from the ground. Above, a bronze-coloured baffle sits over the living space, shading deep set windows and framing views of Western Australia’s perma-blue sky.
Packed with the clients’ beautiful art and furniture, the Curtin Residence does lots with less and shows that a modest footprint can be more than enough when each space works hard throughout the days and seasons.