A Perth Home’s Beachy Addition, Undetectable From The Street

The footprint of this Perth home in Cottesloe has barely changed in the recent renovation, but the small addition has made a world of difference.

Working to update the kitchen and living area of an already extended California bungalow, Cast Studio created a light-filled space with a soaring pitched roof and expansive windows that bring in views towards the sky and the tree canopy.

The 73-square-metre addition enhances the house’s beachy feel, while remaining almost undetachable from the street!

Christina Karras

Curtin Residence is a renovated California bungalow in Cottetseo, Perth, that’s been designed for a professional couple.

Originally designed as steel, the aluminium ‘fins’ cleverly shade the home from the harsh sun.

The clients’ brief was ‘better, not more’, leading to the surprisingly spacious small addition, with soaring ceilings and a pitched roof!

The new kitchen features warm timber joinery alongside pops of pink in the interior palette.

‘The pitched roof allows for a series of high-level windows that bring light deep into the house throughout the day, ensuring that the modest rooms feel generous and lively,’ Cast Studio architect Stephen Hicks says.

By bringing varied daylight into the rooms through windows on all sides on the house, the mood changes across the day.

The interiors feel summery and inviting, perfect for the beachside location.

The study space also enjoys views in the backyard.

The small project took 13 months to build, thanks largely to the impact of the pandemic in the local construction sector.

Primarily built with brick walls and steel roofs, the extension is a cost-effective construction that echoes the house’s existing forms and materials.

A look into the original part of the home.

Christina Karras
25th of May 2023

Cottelsoe, Perth

When the owners of Curtin Residence engaged architects Cast Studio to update their Cottesloe home — just a few blocks from the beach — they had a clear motto in mind.

‘The clients’ brief was “better, not more,”’ Cast Studio director Stephen Hicks says.

The original California bungalow had previously been extended to include a dark and low lean-to kitchen and living area, with a tiny, unused garage sitting to the rear of the house. The couple had already completed a pool and landscaping at the rear, and were happy with the original house, so Stephen and his team were tasked with renovating the small extended section between.

‘The project is quite modest in its aspirations,’ Stephen says. ‘It would have been easy to build a double-level addition to the rear of the cottage, but our clients were content to keep the house as a two-bedroom residence that is compact and restrained.’

‘In a suburb of multi-level mansions, you can’t really see this little addition from the street, which we think is admirable.’

Instead of building upwards, they took the opportunity to increase the home’s sense of space with a soaring pitched roof over the west-facing living and kitchen, rotating the study and laundry to the north. A series of high-level windows help bring changing sunlight into the house, while unique bronze fins on the exterior shade the expanses of glass from the harsh Western Australian sun.

Stephen says the renovation was largely inspired by its location. ‘Towered over by giant Norfolk Pines, the house has a ‘beach’ feel that we sought to heighten by bringing in views towards the sky and the existing tree canopy,’ he explains.

Inside, the owners asked for a ‘fun space that didn’t take itself too seriously’. The resulting colour scheme is almost soft and summery, with muted blue, musk pint, and sage green that picks up on their playful collection of art and furniture, reflecting the couple’s friendly nature — as well as the casual atmosphere of the coastal neigbourhood.

Notes of warm timber make the home even more inviting, contrasting against the polished concrete floors, steel build and the endearing brickwork, both old and new. But Stephen says the best part of the 73-square-metre addition is the way the mood changes throughout the day, thanks to the windows along the east, north and west.

‘Early morning eastern sun peaks through in the living room before the protected northern windows bathe it in sunlight later in the day,’ he notes. ‘As the afternoon sun begins to come around to the west, the deeply recessed western windows drench everything in Perth’s brilliant sunlight.’

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