Richard Szklarz Architects Pty Ltd has been established since 1980. It has built its reputation on high quality design and construction by focusing on attention to detail and the pursuit of design excellence. Design philosophy is based on satisfying contemporary aspects of social, economic, environmental and aesthetic considerations. This philosophy precludes the reproduction of past architectural styles to satisfy fashionable trends. The firm has earned recognition for high levels of creative design and management skills. A fact supported by the number of projects that have received design excellence awards from the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Construction Industry.
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Mosman Park, 2010
The Coombe has long been one of Perth’s iconic residential addresses. With a wedge shaped site of 881m2 and a fall of 14m, the site posed significant challenges for the architect and builder. The topography informed the initial multilevel concept enabling provision for the required accommodation. However, the steep falls also created significant setback, overlooking and construction problems, involving extended negotiations with neighbours and Council officers and close consultation with the structural engineer. The house engages the site by blurring the boundaries to neighbouring properties, referencing the limestone escarpment internally, maximising the benefit of sweeping river views and ensuring the street rolling topography flows from the road reserve over the setback and abuts the built form. Precast concrete, stone, glass, zinc and copper form the contemporary palette used to purvey the simplicity of the planning and express it in the elevation. Three precast planes control the geometric mould of the house. They define the planning and zoning of the functional elements as well as forming the predominant elevational feature and entry statement, internally and externally. A clean, refined, minimalist aesthetic was the result of intensive, time consuming and considered detailing. The house engages the site by blurring the boundaries to neighbouring properties, referencing the limestone escarpment internally, maximising the benefit of sweeping river views and ensuring the street rolling topography flows from the road reserve over the setback and abuts the built form.
A conscious decision at the outset of this project was to design a home that would withstand and reflect the brutality of its location. The use of raw and texture filled exterior materials were a departure from the predictable rendered brick housing dominating the suburban coastal landscape. Off form concrete, copper and aluminium provide the building with maintenance free longevity and the ability to mature elegantly within its harsh surroundings. The aesthetic is a response to the location, reflecting the construction methods employed through a “less is more” philosophy. The transparency connects the iconic Cottesloe references of the expansive road reserve and Norfolk Pines to the private northern rear yard. The eastern concrete boundary wall encloses and connects the outdoor with the interior. Large glass doors further enhance and promote a blurring of the connection between inside, outside, house and pavilion.