A Subiaco Home With A Green Heart

We often feature homes on TDF that celebrate ‘indoor/outdoor’ living, but the Subiaco House by Vokes and Peters really showcases this idea with unparalleled success.

Located in a leafy Perth suburb, the architects have created a home that blends indoor and outdoor, offering both privacy for the residents and connection to the surrounding community. This home is subtly radical, in creating an innovative form, while remaining respectful to the neighbourhood aesthetic.

Miriam McGarry
Supports The Design Files

The Subiaco House by Vokes and Peters. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

The Subiaco House by Vokes and Peters. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

This home is located in a corer block, in a leafy Perth suburb. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

The top storey is clad in terracotta tiles, to create the illusion of a roof to be in keeping with the surrounding single storey homes. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

This is real indoor/outdoor living! Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

The home circles around the internal courtyard. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

The layout means there are green views from almost all angles. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

The open space means the home is largely cooled and warmed by natural ventilation. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

Kitchen with a view. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

Strong linear lines in this home with a green heart. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

Inventive design allowed a second floor in an area that prefers single storey homes. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

Bathroom details. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

Miriam McGarry
5th of August 2019

Architects Stuart Vokes and Aaron Peters of Vokes and Peters were charged with designing a new build for a spacious family home on a prominent corner lot in the historic garden suburb of Subiaco. The clients ‘were keen to build a generous family house that engaged them with the outdoors, and an architecture that was sensitive to the rich, established character of the streetscape and a historic way of building’, explains Stuart Vokes of the brief.

A series of discrete, interconnected rooms are arranged around a central courtyard, elegantly balancing private outdoor space with a connection to the street.

Local planning controls (and neighbourhood conventions) preferenced a single storey design – which presented a challenge to the architects, as the concept was to prioritise private open space at ground level. Through inventive design measures, the architects used terracotta roof tiles to shroud the upper story of the building, resulting in an appearance that was consistent with the neighbours.

The architects explain that while the appearance of the home is relatively understated, ‘the site planning is a radical departure from the established norms of the area.’ This subtly rebellious design provides a secret garden for the residents, as well as an unexpected layout, where the kitchen is placed on the edge of the public footpath. The interplay between private and public provides unconventional moments of connection and engagement with the neighbourhood.

As a Brisbane-based firm, the architects did thorough research into the local climatic conditions for a project on the opposite side of the country. In the end, the design lent itself to natural ventilation, where ‘generous overhangs exclude summer sun and allow winter sun to penetrate into the internal spaces, and the cloistered garden embraces the cooling afternoon breezes (known locally as the ‘Fremantle Doctor’).’

The green heart of this home is lush, breezy and beautiful, as well as temperature controlling across the seasons. A truly exceptional example of a new home seamlessly integrated into a historic neighbourhood!

The Subiaco Home by Vokes and Peters has been shortlisted in the Residential Architecture category of the TDF Design Awards! See here to view the other shortlisted projects. 

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