Mosman Bay Residence


Mosman Bay House


Mosman Bay, WA

Design Team

Iredale Pedersen Hook // @iredalepedersenhook // Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects 

The Mosman Bay House explores two contrasting spatial experiences, one is dynamic and fluid and one is passive and contemplative. One focuses on the distant views to the river and city and one is embedded with the garden.

In a reference to The Eames 'Powers of Ten' we explored multiple scales of relating to the site fluctuating between distant views and the dynamics of family relationships, contrasted with the tactile engagement with the garden and pool. The upper level appears as a stranded boat, a vessel drifted down the river and washed up on the foreshore, "from the river you could be in the city but not on or of it. You could be back from it out there on the water and see everything go by you, around you, leaving you untouched" (Tim Winton- Cloudstreet).

A third space connects interior and exterior, upper and lower levels, one long space and a returning point of reference for day-to-day experiences. This is a space that refuses to end and changes rapidly with external conditions. This space collects north light and distributes summer wind chilled by a sequence of cooling ponds.

External materials are tactile and designed to weather naturally, the lower level is finished in a white sand render, the foreshore of white river sand. The upper level is recycled and lapped Jarrah, a fluid vessel that meanders and wears the imprint of interior activities and furniture, a space that refuses to remain static.

The Mosman Bay House exploits the potential of lighting to dialogue with the formal and atmospheric qualities of the design and to be lyrical and unexpected. The lighting is critical to the unfolding experience of the design, at times it is required to exaggerate the curving qualities of the interior (the upper-level walls and ceiling), or emphasize a material texture (sand finished render), to cast unexpected shadows (through the timber battens), to allow the occupants to follow a path and to the garden finding unexpected spaces.

Sustainability Considerations

This house is a challenging long and narrow site in and east-west orientation. This greatly influenced the environmental design of the house, it is stretched in an east-west direction maximising the relationship of interior spaces to collect north passive heat gain in winter. The upper-level shifts further north to create a continuous veranda protecting ground level spaces from summer sun while allowing the southern neighbour to still enjoy winter sun. The veranda and profile of the upper level were shaped by solar modeling assessing winter sun penetration to lower levels and in consideration of the functional requirements of the upper level.

A south facing open-ended gallery space extends along the entire length of the house allowing the southwest winds to filter through the entire house. A series of individual cooling ponds are placed adjacent to each internal door and opening allowing individual control of cooling. A ground level awning window with fly screen accompanies each cooling pond. The southwest winds are funneled by the sculptured and curved profile of the rear wall, increasing the velocity of the winds. The wind flowing over the pond is naturally cooled

Words by Iredale Pedersen Hook