A remarkable mix of rammed concrete, timber and steel, this Floreat custom build by Humphrey Homes is a compelling piece of design and architecture. The West Australian's New Homes team spoke to proud homeowner Anthea about what it was like living in this extraordinary residence.
How did the home live up to your expectations?
We wanted a home that was spacious and made good use of the three-metre slope of the block and was full of natural light. We'd previously lived in a 1950s Floreat home with much less space and had 'dead' areas due to its layout. Our new home here has a much bigger footprint and all of it is functional. There are no dead spaces.
Which inclusions were the most important to you?
The temperature-controlled wine room, the spacious, well-designed kitchen and living area and the cleverly-designed outdoor areas. There is always somewhere outside which is shaded and protected from wind, regardless of the time of day.
Does the abode reflect some of your personality?
Definitely. We were looking for an interesting, modern home design that wasn't 'boxy'. We loved the sleek but industrial look of rammed concrete so it was great to be able to incorporate that into the southern wall of the house. The tall windows set directly into the concrete wall lighten it and let the garden in.
What is your favourite part of the home and why?
The kitchen/living/dining area. The kitchen has a spacious, functional design and is a pleasure to work in. The large glass doors let in lots of natural light and provide views to the garden, it really brings the outside in.
What did you enjoy most about the building process?
Seeing the architect's drawings for the first time. It was amazing to see what Helen Marchesani (the in-house architect at Humphrey Homes) had come up with from our very limited brief and we loved it immediately. The building team at Humphrey Homes was great to work with, and throughout the journey was as enthusiastic about the project as we were.
Were there any challenges along the way?
Following the construction of the rammed concrete wall, the architect suggested that the tall windows in the wall would look much more effective if they were frameless and were set directly into the concrete. This presented a technical challenge to the builder, but it was overcome and now it's one of our favourite features. The contrast of the glass emerging from the concrete is striking.
What advice would you give to someone about to go through a new build?
We were lucky enough to have both under the same roof at Humphrey Homes which made for a smooth and transparent building process.
Humphrey Homes is an architecture and building company based in Cottesloe. As a Perth local architect and builder, Humphrey Homes primarily designs and builds homes in Cottesloe, Dalkeith, Peppermint Grove, Nedlands, Subiaco and Floreat.
This story first appeared in The West Australian's New Homes liftout on February 2, 2019.