Space, light and effortless cool for narrow block

Situated on a long narrow block, a home is divided into three distinct zones separated by courtyards, and takes cues from the architecture of early to mid-century houses in the surrounding suburb.

The brainchild of owner and designer Sandy Anghie and Matthew Crawford Architects, Anghie House_A is the answer to a brief that called for a functional, comfortable, low-maintenance house with the main requirement being that all living spaces are accommodated on a single level.

“Having lived in an apartment for five years, my husband Michael and I grew to appreciate the benefits of living in a more compact house on a single level,” says Sandy.

Vacant at the time of purchase, the 500sqm site was a rare find in Dalkeith – a suburb known for large houses on quarter acre blocks – and has a unique dimension of 10m wide and 50m long.

The adjacent 500sqm vacant site was purchased at the same time and both houses were designed and built together, enabling nil setbacks to the common boundary so that the width of each house could be maximised and generous living spaces accommodated on a single level.

The home is punctuated by courtyards that provide a sense of space and depth despite the narrow lot, and access to northern light and cross ventilation throughout the house.

“We wanted the house to be functional and efficient without compromising on spatial quality,” Sandy explains. “Generous spaces, high ceilings, natural light and connection to the garden were all important elements.”

Off form concrete, polished plaster, white render and glazing combine for exterior elevations that deliver clean lines.

Referencing the concrete projections of local examples of art deco architecture, the exposed, off form concrete slab edge creates a defined band around the perimeter of the house. The strong horizontal bands of the parapet and windows were also inspired by local examples of art deco architecture.

Porfido stone “crazy paving” and grass strips soften the impact of the driveway, which can often be a concern for narrow blocks.

Polished plaster is carried through to the interior entry and living room, while the neutral and minimal palette is complete with travertine wall and floor tiles, and quartz benchtops and splashbacks.

The same travertine tiles, in two formats, were used throughout the house – 400×600 in bond pattern for the living areas, and 200×600 in herringbone pattern for the bedrooms to distinguish the spaces.

“I chose teak for the cabinetwork because of its warmth and the fact that it was used in mid-century furniture,” says Sandy. “This was a way to create a feeling of familiarity and to engage with the past. The cabinetmakers, G Mannino & Sons, are craftsmen and were great to work with.”

Sustainability also featured high on the brief. With shaded north-facing openings, high level operable windows and courtyards for natural light and ventilation, and hydronic underfloor heating, the home is well deserving of its 7 star NatHERS energy efficiency rating.

This home is an entry in the Australian Institute of Architects WA Architecture Awards.

 

Builder Mosman Bay Construction Cabinetwork G Mannino & Sons Polished plaster The Polished Plaster Company Tiles and Quartz Zuccari Lighting Emotion Lighting Landscape Phase3 Sculpture Sculpture by the Sea Furniture Arthur G and Living Edge

 

Matthew Crawford Architects
mcarchitects.com.au

Sandy Anghie Home Design
sandyanghiedesign.com

Photography: Dion Photography