Natural Balance

Western Australia maintains a unique relationship to the natural world across Australia. For a family of four on the Swan River, nature is not only beautiful but poetic too.

Consider: stone. What exactly is it about stone we find so enrapturing? There is no other natural element that propels the imagination in such histrionic directions. And there is certainly no other material to which we habitually return to express our very humbled, human orientation in the natural world. Stone is romantic. Stone is elegiac.

Perhaps it’s because stone cannot but help to remind us of our fleeting ephemerality. As the physical manifestation of centuries, shaped by time’s passing, the ravage of wind and rain, stone is the microcosm of our world – expressing our dreams for duration, and our fears of transience. And architecture has always been the perfect medium to express this.

Follow the Swan River and you will come across a home that champions this inherent poetry in stone. Also seamlessly incorporating natural timber and glass, the space is warm and brimming with radiant sunlight. Designed by the team at Urbane Projects, this family home is a measured reflection on ecologically conscious design practice.

The incorporation of the dramatic beauty of Western Australia’s landscape was paramount. As the statement piece for this home, a two-storey window opens out onto panoramic vistas of the Swan River, with the opposite end of the house unfolding down into the backing Trust land, river skirting behind. Balancing its celebration of nature with its desire to protect it, designing the home to be solar passive proved challenging due to the block’s orientation on a steep incline. To combat this, extra consideration had to be made for landscaping and materials that would withstand the harsh elements of the river.

Featuring a neutral tonal scheme of shingle blonde, sand, dove grey, ivory and teak, every space of the building is brought into a harmonious narrative. Open and spacious, the spatial organisation promotes ultimate ease of movement and languorous relaxation.

Sitting below a triumphant gabled ceiling, the entryway to the property acts as a link between its two wings – a central vein running through the whole floorplan – designed to evolve with the family, accommodating their needs for today and the tomorrows to come.

Urbane Projects

Photography by Joel Barbitta.

 Natural Balance | ContemporaryAU

Words by David Congram.