Photo by Jack Lovel.

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Jack Lovel.

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Jack Lovel.

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Michael Nicholson.

 

Perth-based architect Neil Cownie took inspiration from the suburb of Floreat’s aesthetic history in designing Roscommon House to sit in harmony with both past and future. Spurred by the demolition of the local much-loved Brutalist-style Surf Life Saving Club, Cownie decided to pay homage to the significant legacy of modernist and Brutalist buildings that still remain in the suburb.

After documenting over 70 such buildings, Cownie pieced together defining traits such as strength and simplicity of form, environmental consideration, and an honest modesty to inform the design of Roscommon House.

“We found a regionally distinctive form of architectural modernism, independent from the rest of Australia,” says Cownie.

The interiors embrace the Japanese ‘Wabi-sabi’ style of seeking beauty in imperfection, with uneven concrete surfaces and materials chosen for their roughness, texture, modesty, and embrace of aging. The majority of the 549sqm site is on a single floor, with a basement and small first floor with roof gardens.

 

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Robert Frith.

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Michael Nicholson.

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Michael Nicholson.

 

Walls and ceilings are designed as a series of unadulterated planes and blocks of interlocking sculptural shapes, with services and lighting discreet or even altogether hidden. Timber cabinetwork and timber clad wall elements seamlessly align to simplify visual flow. A fluid kitchen island bench with hovering stone top reflects the local iconic beachside kiosk, another concrete Brutalist building set to be demolished before being saved by the community.

The landscaping of ‘pocket’ courtyards and rooftop terrace gardens blurs the boundaries of inside and out, with added sustainable merit as teasing the building apart maximizes winter solar penetration. Cownie’s selection of long-lasting, low maintenance materials contributes to thermal mass, while northern orientation to living spaces maximizes cross ventilation and prevailing southwest winds.

Along with the passive solar design, the front roof conceals 50 photovoltaic panels that generate electricity, the excess of which is stored in batteries in the basement; within two years, the house will be entirely self-sufficient with its energy usage, even in winter.

 

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Jack Lovel.

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Jack Lovel.

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Jack Lovel.

Roscommon House in Floreat, Western Australia by Neil Cownie | Yellowtrace
Photo by Jack Lovel.

 

Custom Cownie-designed furniture includes a timber dining table with rounded brass edging, an open courtyard dining table with vitrified tile top and powder coated metal base, and ‘Blade Runner’ pendant lights to the main stair void. Furniture sourced from Australian brands Mobilia and Jardan also features heavily throughout the home, with an emphasis on details that appear ‘handmade’.

“My clients gave me the opportunity to provide a holistic design approach and service across architecture, interior design, product design, furniture, artwork selection and landscape, the house and its contents work together as one realization,” says Cownie.

On completion of Roscommon House, Cownie engaged with the local community throughout the process of creating an official photographic journal of the suburb’s notable architecture.Click To Read Entire Post

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