Westbury Crescent Residence is all about the manipulation of light. The addition to a Federation-era home in Perth's southern suburbs replaces an existing, derelict lean-to. The new design makes the most of light from all directions, grabbing swathes of north light and tree-top views in one direction, slithers of sky from above, and funneling south light into a bathroom via periscope!
The superb crafting of space and handling of light creates a dramatic and light-filled space that defies its size and turns what was an introverted house inside out…
Periscope: On a shared access lane beside Westbury Crescent, you can see the striking periscope which is letting light into the house without sacrificing privacy.
Framing Views: A door at the end of the new living room carefully frames the view of a tree beyond.
Dramatic Lighting: Even the artificial LED lighting at Westbury Crescent Residence is used to dramatic effect including highlighting the connection between old and new.
Opening Up: To the North, a sliding door and clerestory window open to the light and deck.
Keeping Its Cool
Light coloured Surfmist® COLORBOND® steel was selected for the cladding material due to its low solar absorption -- helping to keep the home cooler in Perth's warm climate. The project was given an exemption from the local council's planning scheme -- ordinarily corrugated iron this light is considered highly reflective and therefore inappropriate for use on walls. The good news is, the local council is now using this project as a precedent, and working to amend their town-planning scheme to allow for more efficient building skins.
Connecting Old and New: The connection between old and new is marked by a strong contrast between the heavy, solid materiality of the existing Federation home and the lighter modern look of the corrugated iron.
Light Scoop: In the bathroom a curved ceiling scoops in the light without compromising privacy.
Indoor Outdoor: Sandstone steps and a timber deck define the connection between indoors and outdoors
Versatile Shade Screen
A shade screen covered with stretched shade sail material can be pulled over the North-facing window to shield the living area from harsh sun. It also double as a privacy screen and a movie projection screen to transform the living area or deck into a home cinema. That's a versatile shade screen!
All you have to do is take a look at Westbury Crescent Residence's section to realize how much effort has gone into getting the right type of natural light into the right areas.
A large north-facing opening lets warming winter sun deep into the kitchen and dining area, while an overhang blocks much of the higher Summer sun.
The laundry features a light shaft to let overhead task lighting into the space.
In the bathroom ambient light from the south is scooped in and reflected around. There will be no issues putting on makeup or plucking your monobrow in this bathroom's mirror! Plus, thanks to the periscope design, passersby in the shared access lane can't see into the bathroom. It provides light without the full-frontal nudity!
Clever Light House
Westbury Crescent Residence shows us how careful consideration of light can improve a space dramatically. The architect David Barr hasn't just stuck in windows to let light in, he's carefully considered what type of light is important to each space and catered to that need. The result is a superbly light and bright home with generous touches of drama -- bravo!