Home' Scoop Homes and Art : SHA 29 Winter 2011 Contents HOMES & ART WINTER 2011 149
hink about houses in Subiaco and
quaint cottages spring to mind –
or contemporary townhouses
in Subi Centro. This three-level
new-build is neither – and so different in
looks and concept it seems set to become
a neighbourhood landmark.
For architect owner-builders Paul
Wellington and Elizabeth Karol, a house
that garnered attention was never the aim.
“We just wanted to design a house that
was fun to live in,” says Elizabeth.
But they’re being modest – their home
has achieved an eight-star energy rating
using AccuRate software. “This house
offers flexible, fun living with very usable
spaces – nothing is wasted,” Elizabeth says.
Still, passer-bys look twice. Many
make comments and ask questions –
“not sure if that’s a good or bad thing”,
laughs Paul. They had difficulty getting
building approval, he adds, “but I think
sustainability should be encouraged so
people understand what you can do with
a sustainable home on a small block... it’s
created an awareness”.
The structure is a metal box, its walls and
flat roof made of steel refrigeration panels
that maintain a comfortable temperature
of 25 to 27 degrees year round. Brickwork
bookends the north and south elevations of
the ‘box’ while above lie two canopy roofs,
which Paul describes as ‘umbrellas’ that
keep the home cool.
One canopy houses photovoltaic panels
to produce electricity and hot water. The
other plane heats the house in winter, with
air warmed on the plane sent through a
duct into the home and released.
The block was originally home to a 1920s
corner shop-turned-Italian school. “There
was a sense of history around the school
that we thought would be nice to keep
some memory of, even though we were
putting up a building with 21st century
CLOCKWISE from top left The living area is filled with artworks – three cushions on the couch and a cow hide on the armchair,
all from Empire Highgate, complement the decor; a little statue from Sumatra in the library; art pieces in the void include graceful
handwoven light-fittings by Nyoongar artist Janine McAullay Bott and a large artwork by Charles Green; a traditional puppet from
Indonesia in the foreground and a temple hanging from Macau in the background.
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