Driving around Perth is complicated. A simple 20-minute drive from the Scarborough coastline to Perth’s CBD is a hectic maze.
While cranes, detours, road blocks and lane mergers at every turn can be seen as a sign of positive change, the big question is, are these new developments building a residential landscape that won’t just be torn down in 20 years?
Project by project, the design community is gradually assembling the framework for a sustainable future in residential design.
“We are certainly on our way to more liveable and sustainable residential options in WA, but I believe we have a way to go. I’d love to see the people of Perth being offered a more diverse choice of abodes in the heart of desirable, existing communities, rather than the continual expansion into the outer Northern and Southern suburbs,” says property developer Tim Willing of Willing Property.
The Terrace House by Willing Property
Tim’s current project, The Terrace House, is one of several exciting developments shaping the landscape of WA. Located in the historic area of Guildford, a 25-minute drive out of Perth, the apartments have been well received, selling out in only three months.
“Developing well-designed, small scale apartment buildings, that we can be proud of for their visual amenity, quality, considered floorplans and access to local communities, is our best chance at creating a sustainable residential landscape,” he says. “This was our focus with Terrace House. It was designed with classic design principles that will stand the test of time and quality finishes, rather than simply bowing to trends that follow a moment in time.”
There’s no denying that Perth is a little behind in terms of sustainable design and though The Green Building Council of Australia recently expressed its concern about Perth’s population set to double over the next 15 years, the future is looking bright.
The Exploding! Shed House by David Weir
Architect David Weir, who received countless accolades for this inner-city project, The Exploding! Shed House, says that the bastardisation of the Australian dream means that people rankle at the idea of increased density in their neighbourhoods.
The Exploding! Shed House is the perfect example of smart, sustainable design in the inner-city suburbs of Perth. It’s projects like this that excite the community and show that sustainable design is available.
“It’s a compact and adaptable home, and with a great client we were able to create a liveable suburban home on literally half a block. We had something like two thousand people through that project (at Open House Perth) and so many of them really engaged with the idea of a well-designed small house,” says David. “I feel like as a population we became enamored with the idea of theatre rooms and adult retreats but now a lot of us are waking up from that dreamy fog and realising that good living is not about how many rooms you can have, but how well you can use them, and how well you can engage with your local community.”
Providing a variety of living options to WA residents is a step in the right direction of sustainable and smart design. It’s just happening one (slow) step at a time.
Words by Clare Ryan