Fremantle Infill Home

Status: in progress

Services provided:
  • Architecture /
  • Design

This project began as a challenge to subdivide an existing corner property in Fremantle and build a home on the rear lot. The site provided unique challenges in that there was a significant slope of 3 metres, however it also had the benefit of being a corner lot. Thanks to this, we were able to create a separate access to the dwelling from the secondary street, rather than relying on access via a driveway through the front property, establishing a valuable street frontage for the project and contributing to street surveillance.


With the slope of the site falling away from the north side boundary, we used the natural slope of the site and a uniform ceiling height on the ground floor level to create volume and grandeur in the kitchen and living areas. The main living area is on the ground floor with an open plan kitchen and dining opening onto an alfresco area, at a slightly lower level than the garage and lounge area. The first floor has a master bedroom and ensuite, two secondary bedrooms and a second lounge area. There is also a basement level with a study, wine cellar and store.


Connection between the indoors and outdoors was important for our clients, and so careful attention was paid to blur the boundaries and thresholds between spaces. In response to the site, the living areas were oriented to the northern aspect creating a connection to the streetscape and community. Large north and south facing windows within the main living areas provided a connection between the street and a private courtyard space to the rear of the house.


Within the restricted budget of the build, double glazing was specified for the northern and southern elevations and all glazing has been eliminated to the east and west to avoid heat gain, providing a greater environmental benefit over what the majority of the market provides. Windows have also been strategically placed to maximize cross flow ventilation to the home. Utilizing the Bernoulli Principle the home will draw air through the stairwell area and pull air through the living areas and bedrooms, creating better air flow than a typically designed home. The utilisation of casement windows also assists in this process. As air flows across the back of a casement window it creates a low pressure zone drawing greater volumes of air out of the home than other window styles. Highly insulated lightweight timber framing along with double glazing eliminates heat transfer in and out of the building making it one of the most cost effective and energy efficient construction methods available to the market in Perth. With the inclusion of ceiling fans we have avoided the need for ducted air-conditioning throughout. A heat exchange unit has been included along with a single split system located in a living area to provide continuous fresh air into the home with minimal heat loss. This allows the home to be closed up for the colder days/months with minimal energy consumption and greater occupancy comfort and healthier environment.


The project has been designed to that construction of the project could be done using prefabrication of the walls as panels such as provided by manufacturers such as Offsite. The wall and ceiling timber frame cassettes would be protected from weather and heat penetration by HardieWrap weather barrier. The house is to be clad using James Hardie EasyTex panels in a white paint finish, neat v-groove lap joints adding simple detailing to the facades. James Hardie Axon and Stria Cladding is also featured, in matt black and a timber-look finish. This provides longevity over traditional timber, while achieving a natural look. Prefabrication in a controlled factory environment enables the majority of material off cuts to be recycled. This reduces the project’s contribution to the 15 million+ tonnes of waste that is produced in construction throughout Australia each year. In addition to increased sustainability, using factory construction methods increases the speed of construction and provides a cash benefit to our clients. The whole process is more cost effective and sustainable than an on-site build.