The Backhouse


The Backhouse is a family home for five that looks for opportunities to colonise spaces through layering and stacking in plan and section. Figuratively, it takes on the form of a barn, responding to Fremantle’s harsh coastal conditions and recording the passage of time. The Backhouse feels authentic and lived in. Both internally and externally, materials have been selected for their sustainability, warmth and lack of preciousness.

Foremost, the house addresses the family’s need for both privacy and connection. It privileges each space and considers their relationship to the site and neighbourhood. In doing this, the family actively engages with each other through the overlapping of spaces.

The house is opportunistic in finding space for solitude by thickening the plan in places. Bookshelves and a bench seat line the stairwell landing and a desk stretches along the landing on the first floor.  The west-facing sunken lounge opens directly onto the landscape and embraces Perth’s relatively temperate climate extending the recycled floor outside.

A cubby for modern living!