Designers and architects have been experimenting with mixed materials for centuries. Just take a look at the federation-style homes peppered across Perth’s established suburbs, or the beachside shacks that line our coast. In this home, Daniel Cassettai Design manipulates the design palette through use of traditional wood and contemporary references such as fresh whites, charcoals, and rammed earth left raw – the results, as you can see, are stunning.
While original in design, the style of the home takes its cues from local architecture, with subtle nods to the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games relief brickwork that’s still found in the suburb today.
The home was built on a 375sqm east-facing site with a one-metre decline to the rear, which meant careful consideration had to be made to levelling for ease of navigation.
Daniel Cassettai Design subsequently oriented the home’s program across
three floors, excavating a basement level into the ground to house a cellar and private lounge.
“We kept the front library on the ground floor quite high, allowing us to get some natural light into the basement,” says Daniel Cassettai.
“As we stepped the floor level of the home at the living area, we gained ceiling height, and the home really opened up in terms of volume.
“We had another couple of steps down to the garage and laundry.”
Glazing to the south and north, louvred windows, and a soaring double-storey void bathes the living zones in an abundance of light, and establishes a dialogue between internal and external spaces.
In keeping with the original brief for an edgy, modern family home, sufficient storage space was a necessity to accommodate future occupants.
“There is a place for everything, lots of storage, and multiple living areas so
that entertaining could be done simultaneously for all members of the family,” says Daniel.
The upper level features the master suite, a guest bedroom with its own ensuite, two secondary bedrooms, and a discreet study alcove designed for homework.
“We then cantilevered the upper floor to provide an eave rather than introduce another roof or awning to protect from the northern summer sun,” he says.
In addition, the striking use of timber and natural travertine in this space further underscores a connection to nature, explains Daniel.
“The rammed earth wall, the facebrick in the landscaping and the rooftop garden visible from the upper floor all serve to warm up a design style that can sometimes feel a bit cold and overly minimal.”
Daniel Cassettai reflects on the design principles employed in this urban home.
What aspect of this home are you most proud of, and why?
Definitely the feeling of space, and connectivity to the outside spaces. On suburban lots, it’s
easy to feel boxed in and surrounded by masonry. We managed to create areas that are separated yet connected. I think of my family and how we could easily live in this home and all have our private spaces, but also interact as a family on a day-to-day basis.
Do you have any tips for working with mixed materials?
Keep the building modular, layer the walls and roof structures, have a definite stop and start point, and respect the material you are working with – stone doesn’t float.
What are the best ways to maximise space on small block sizes such as this?
Lots of glazing, open vertical spaces and good connection to the outside – try to blur the line between the spaces. Other ways include reflective colours and materials, quality of space over number of rooms on each level, and well-located utility areas to maximise day-to-day storage.
What’s next for your design practice?
We’re really enjoying this urban space. It’s nice to think we can create beautiful homes without thinking too much about what the current trends are.
Daniel Cassettai Design (08) 9201 9993, dcdesign.com.au (building designer) Austurban Homes (08) 9244 2288, austurban.com.au (builder)
Blake Willis Landscape Architects 0425 269 102, bwla.com.au (landscaper).