The Wasley


The Wasley


Dalecki Design


Mount Lawley / Dalecki Design

Located on a 385m2 inner city block, the owner wanted to transform this tired, run down home into an entertainers dream, suitable for a young family. The existing home with three bedrooms, one bathroom, and no storage had a dark, impractical layout with no breeze paths or natural light. The alteration and addition were to be sympathetic to the existing 100-year-old heritage listed home, whilst still creating a bold design statement. The brief was to create a livable home, centered on an entertainer's open plan living area, which captured their city views and created a well-balanced indoor/outdoor connection. Whilst the home was to be child-friendly, the owners also wanted to create a luxurious master retreat, where the parents of the house could escape to the privacy of their own space.

Due to the inner city location, where congested streets are commonplace, allowing space for two off street car bays was a priority in the design. Overall, the owner was looking for a fast and cost effective construction, so it was imperative that the design and materials selected supported this.

This charming heritage home has been transformed into a modern three bedroom, two bathroom home. North facing windows capture and disperse natural light throughout the living zones. Large sliding doors completely open the living area to the outdoors, creating a flowing indoor/outdoor connection and transforming the central living into one large entertaining zone. The large sliding doors also frame the home’s city views, allowing them to be seen from all entertaining zones, both indoors and outdoors.

The sleeping areas have been divided into two distinct zones. The master bedroom has been positioned to the rear, providing a sense of privacy, whilst the two existing front bedrooms have been left, with the addition of their own bathroom, providing a much more practical layout. In order to let the intricate heritage details shine, the addition incorporates contrasting materials and sharp, minimalist lines, creating a strikingly modern form. Whilst this creates a clear definition between the old and the new, a neutral colour scheme and the use of existing floorboards throughout provide a seamless transition between the two eras.

When was the project completed? How long did it take?

The project was completed in May 2017. The full design and construction process took 15 months.

Can you tell us a bit about the design process?

The design process was a really interesting one. As this project was being built to be on sold, we didn’t have a true ‘client’ who ordinarily would give us the brief. This required a slightly different approach where we had to evaluate the existing house and parcel of land in relation to the budget to see what our completed design realistically could achieve in terms of the overall size, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the amount of garden space and undercover parking.
From here, it left a clear picture of what type of person would be our ideal potential buyer. We could then create the project brief based on existing knowledge of what this ideal potential buyer would want and need in a house. We came up with a number of different design solutions in terms of overall layouts until we settled with the current design, which made the best use of the existing house and provided a clear separation between the minor sleeping zones, the parents sleeping zone and the living spaces.
As always, there were a few hurdles to jump over with the council and their local guidelines, however, due to the home being heritage listed, we were able to come up with a really striking, contrasting addition which is the final design you see today.

What is special about this project?

I would definitely have to say the existing 1907 house, which was renovated as part of this project. Too often you see people knock these older houses down as in many instances it’s cheaper and easier to start from scratch. If you look throughout Perth you can see many examples of where these older houses have been knocked down and multiple new houses built in it’s place, which I think is a huge shame when personally I believe there could be a better approach.
I think it is really fantastic to see someone willing to take the time to renovate a little piece of Perth’s history and work around it to create a new home to suit our modern way of living, which will hopefully stand for another 100 years.

I would have to say some of the really special areas in the house are actually features of the existing home, which were left and restored. Two of these features being exitsing fire places, one of which is now located in the new bathroom and the other is located in the master suite WIR.

How did the local context inspire your work?

Obviously being a renovation and addition project, the existing 1907 house provided a huge amount of inspiration for not only the restoration of the existing heritage home but also the addition. Being located in an older suburb of Perth, all of the surrounding houses on the streetscape are from a similar era.
We felt a responsibility to ensure that the original home restoration was respectful to not only the original heritage home, but to the surrounding houses.

What do you think makes Western Australia special?

 I think our laid back, relaxed lifestyle and friendly attitude among the community is key in terms of what makes Western Australia so special. I think a huge part of that is due to our great weather, great coastline, and our smaller city values, which unfortunately are often referred to in a negative connotation.

What are your favourite local buildings?

If I had to choose, some of my favourite more iconic buildings are:
a. The recently renovated State Buildings in Perth CBD.
b. The recently restored Guildford Hotel.
c. The Como Theater.
d. The derelict South Fremantle Power Station.

 What was the soundtrack to this project?

The songs that come to mind when I think of the outside of the building would be ‘Foxy
Lady’ by Jimi Hendrix.
And for the inside, it would be ‘I Feel Good’ by James Brown.

All images by Dion Robeson