Perth modernism – Revisited

Neil Cownie Architects clients have a love for modernism and concrete which comes from their appreciation of the history of the Perth 1960’s ‘Garden Suburbs’ of Floreat and City Beach. It was this love of modernism that led them to purchase land in Floreat, they wanted a family home that respected and drew on the modernist history of the area. They were passionate for a house constructed from grey timber board finished concrete.
The wonderful thing about working with concrete is the liquid nature of the poured concrete prior to it setting as a sort of ‘liquid stone’. This allows the molds that hold the concrete to define the finished texture.
Through investigation Neil Cownie Architects sourced a suitable timber board and sand blasted the surface of the timber to expose the grain. This timber then formed the mold into which the liquid concrete was poured. The end result is a wonderful textured timber grain finish to the concrete.
The low slung street front roof over the living room and dining room has a ‘scooped’ profiled concrete upturn referencing the old City Beach Surf Lifesaving building. Inspiration for this roof form was also taken from both the City Beach and Floreat Beach Kiosks.
The clients wanted a house that would be relevant over a long period of time, and they wanted to remain in this house during different stages of family life. It was an important consideration to make sure that there was versatility in the way the house could be used.
They wanted to have an understated house from the street and they didn’t want a mansion look so it’s a single story house from the front. The only first floor part is the master bedroom, the space has privacy because of the landscaping in the roof garden. The owners can step out into this garden from their master bedroom.

Image Credits: Michael Nicholson, Rob Frith, Jack Lovel

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