From the architect:
The original site included the first church in the Mundaring region from 1903 (St Andrew’s Anglican Church) and gazebo (1980s). Our clients purchased the church and site with the intent of adding a new residence.
The design evolved as a constellation of three elements; church, house and gazebo. The three elements lock together without physically touching each other. Each becomes an essential piece of the puzzle. The original church is the primary context that helps to generate and influence the architecture of the new house. The gazebo, while not considered to be of significant aesthetic value, now forms and essential outdoor entertaining space that defines the south-west corner locking all three elements together.
The house emerges out of the ground as a long-refined bar, hugging the south boundary to then open the site and maintain the view from the road to the church. The definition of the south boundary focuses attention to the church with a new sense of intensity allowing the public to maintain visual and emotional contact to the church.
The house materiality is derived from the church but introduced in unexpected ways. The roof sheeting becomes the main material with lower level brickwork anchoring the house to the lower site.
A long veranda on the north side animates the site and connects house, church and gazebo. It echoes the form of the church porch (added in 1987) but never touches it. A walk along the veranda reveals the church with abstracted views through grey polycarbonate and recycled jarrah timber battens.
A path of recycled brick meanders through the site from the street to the point where all three elements meet. The church shifts from being the focus on approach to an equal ‘weight’ in the composition. There is no front door, entry is deliberately created from the veranda that reveals the immediate context and distant context. This separation of elements allows the church to be used independent from the house with the opportunity to once more host public events.
In contrast to the informality of the walk through the native garden, the house is designed with a sequence of axis derived from the micro axis of the church. The veranda panels frame the axis, extruding interior space, creating depth and focusing the mature trees and native garden while providing sun protection and privacy.
- An on-site stream has been developed as part of a larger network of water bodies that flow through the site. This stream controls excessive stormwater, feeding native plants and attracting native birds
- PV cells provide power for the church and house
- New roof lights provide natural light and heat gain and a spiritual and emotional link to the sky
- Economy of structure and minimal material (and spatial) waste has been actively pursued