It’s not often I walk through a house and actually say “I could live here”, but 66 Baden Street Joondanna struck a chord. On a design level, it ticks so many of my own “personal aesthetic boxes” that I just fell in love… the use of materials, the full height glass (and the influx of amazing natural northern light!), the attention to detail and the thoughtfulness of energy efficiency and the internal living climate, are just a few aspects that I am seriously crushing on. Each area has been carefully considered by the architect in terms of its form and function. Whilst this is one very cool home, it’s also incredibly warm and inviting. 

66 Baden Street is a contender in the Australian Institute of Architects Awards 2017 & Australian Timber Design Awards 2017 and has also been featured in Open House Perth & Sustainable House Design Day for the last 2 years. Impressive. 

I was delighted to spend some time with the project’s architect, Fiona Di Lanzo (of Di Lanzo and Partner Architecture), to get to understand a bit more about the project and the design and lifestyle influences behind it. Here’s a snapshot of our chat. 

DANIELLE: Tell me about your design and location inspiration?       

Fiona: We had the concept for a while. We asked the question – how do you create a house in a built up environment, on a narrow block & with one solid boundary wall so it is an open yet private pavilion?

This particular site was a bonus. We had come from living in Melbourne & overseas & we had watched how suburbs long overlooked & on the fringe of previously gentrified inner suburbs had started to transform. It was the inherent qualities of these suburbs & their still relative proximity to the city that was being rediscovered.

Architect, Fiona Di Lanzo with Danielle Geagea

We loved Joondanna because despite its proximity to the city & easy access to different locations, it has tranquility, lots of trees, a very mixed built environment & has high & low vantage points. Our concept works for a flat site, but this has both elevation and aspect. Its elevation gives surprising views out, and its orientation offers both north light and cross-venting breezes. We took great care to incorporate all these advantages into the house’s design.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?  

Purposefully sculptural, tactile, sensory & material driven. Our style takes cues from cultural references & context but also art & other forms of design. For example, the sculptural screens of this house were influenced by a piece of furniture by a young industrial designer who in turn is referencing Gio Ponti – an iconic Italian architect – a nod to this suburb’s southern European DNA.

What demographic was the home designed and built for?  

Because this is a speculative project, it was designed to accommodate a  variety of groups – family plus grandparent, family with fledgling(s) reluctant to leave, house for two couples, house for more than 4 adults etc….though it works just as well for 2 people.. We wondered how the spaces could be used now & in 10, 20, 50 years time. The idea is that the house is adaptable. It offers big rooms to come together, plus a multitude of coves to withdraw to – balconies, courtyards, basement and roof deck. The way it’s planned and structured  means internal walls can be demolished and repositioned readily. The downstairs lounge and bathroom could reconfigure as a self-contained granny flat, for instance. 

In your opinion, what are the standout design features of the home? 

Firstly its response to its environment & engagement with landscape without compromising privacy. The look is crafted from a variety of striking materials – stone, local & repurposed jarrah, terrazzo, black fine steel, big planar white walls enhanced by high ceilings and soft diffuse daylight. The house is an assembly of planes, rather than a system of walls with openings for windows and doors. A nested surprise is the house’s  low-energy consumption. Despite its openness, it is naturally cool in summer, and holds its heat comfortably in winter.

66 Baden Street is available for sale / $1,295,000. 

Green Title / 4 Beds / 3 Baths / 4 WCs / 2 Car Garage & Basement / Courtyard & Roof Deck

If you would like to find out more, please contact me for details here

If you would like to speak with Fiona from Di Lanzo and Partner Architecture about creating your next living space, please reach out to her here