From Humble beginnings. Jason Saunders saw opportunity when he looked towards the modest 1930s bungalow in North Perth. With his passion for design and decades of experience he saw the possibility to take a standard Perth home and convert it into a light, bright, and ultimately versatile building. What was realized is an award winning design and flagship project for his and his wife’s building and interior design firm, Arc Seven. 1. However, according to Jason these accolades do not compare to the satisfaction of providing his family with their dream home, which perfectly reflects their personality and meets their needs.

Maximizing Space. With a strong appreciation for the history associated with the longstanding bungalow, Jason’s vision was to maintain the house’s unique character, whilst enhancing its livability. For this reason he decided to extend the back of the house with a contemporary two story addition, which maximized living space by adding 195sqm. His approach was inspired by the European design philosophy that champions original buildings and their charm through the creative use of light and shade. A monochromatic colour scheme was therefore embraced and facilitated by the use of black Axon cladding on the new addition. This approach ensures that the old and new seamlessly interlink within the house, with the new addition appearing to float off the existing space. By celebrating the original building and its character, the couple were able pay homage to the history of the area and the architecture that defines it, whilst also avoiding any disruption to the existing streetscape.

“This creative design element ensured that the family’s home would offer the physical space required whilst providing a sense of openness. ”
“...this design could never have been achieved through traditional brick construction, which has significant weight constraints that limit design flexibility.”
“To bowl over the older home would have been cheaper and easier, but you would lose the character.”
Jason, North Perth, WA

Flexibility is Key: With young twins and two playful dogs, the house needed to deliver ample space for the fun and games that comes with a growing family. Jason’s solution was to not only build the new addition, but to have it supported by an impressive 2.5 meter cantilever. This creative design element ensured that the family’s home would offer the physical space required whilst providing a sense of openness. The cantilever carries through to the outdoor dining area, creating a smooth connection between the internal and external living spaces, ensuring the views to the garden are uninterrupted. By connecting the two spaces the livability of the home was greatly enhanced, as it provides the perfect place for entertaining and allows a watchful eye to be kept on the kids as they play outside.

“The home is stamped with our eclectic style.”
Jason, North Perth, WA

It is this social and open aspect of the home that Jason says he and his wife value the most, as it allows them and their friends to enjoy the space that has been created. Jason attributes the success of this design to his use of lightweight construction, which allowed him to “reduce weight without compromising the overall aesthetic.” He goes on to note that this design could never have been achieved through traditional brick construction, which has significant weight constraints that limit design flexibility. The judges at the 2015 BDAWA design awards appear to approve of Jason’s choice, as they commented that the striking second story addition seems to float unanchored above the lower level creating a seamless interaction between the two environments in a “visually exciting, yet practical way”.

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