CASA 31_4 Room House is an old building that has been uniquely remodelled with the respect for the past and vision for the future. It’s a 1930 property owned by two experienced architects Adrian Iredale and Caroline Di Costa, and is based in Perth, Western Australia. The restored property gets its name from it being envisioned as four distinct living space – the room to the interior, the room to the garden, the room to the horizon and the room to the sky. All interior spaces have cleverly secured components of the past, history has been layered , transforming a traditional house into an extremely expressive modern home. The sloping floor, the barge scrolls on the front fence, the roof tiles and the upcycling of former building elements such as decks, gates, architraves and furniture are the manifestations of the antiquity.
In modern society where people are obsessed with privacy and security, the designers have reintroduced the lost tradition of a front garden as a social setting and meeting place, in the form of front deck engaging with the street, thus maintaining the historical street frontage and constantly inspiring family interactions, at the same time.
This contemporary residence is kept cool using the principle of coolgardie safe – a low-tech refrigeration unit that uses the evaporation of water to cool the contents. Water trickles down the shade-cloth skin of the home. As breezes and the heat evaporate the water, the internal space is cooled, hence making the house officially the most liveable coolgardie safe in Australia. Other utilitarian energy-reducing measures include low-energy light fittings, a solar hot water system, solar panelled roof, and windows placed so as to maximize cross ventilation and winter heat gain. The existing chimney was also employed as part of a rainwater harvesting system.
The room to the interior preserves the historical characters like dark timber details, ornate ceiling mouldings and picture rails. Various eras the house has witnessed are represented in details like the light fittings and painted wall patterns making the walls to talk about the passage of time.
The room to the garden focuses attention to the exterior at ground level, it is purposely heavy and explores connection between room and garden.The kitchen and multi-purpose area both open smoothly into the outdoors. The kitchen becomes more an extension of the garden than a room of its own.
The room to the sky is the area in the house that explains a connection to the sky. Made using polycarbonate roofing and regular corrugated iron, the multi-purpose area creates a beautiful pattern of multi-layered 3D room with an opening on top end allowing ample daylight enter the house.
The fourth and final space, the room on the top, takes advantage of its height to offer views of horizon and countless suburban rooftops. Enclosed in layers of plywood, the window screens open outward releasing the interior volume and allowing sunlight enter the house.
The two storeyed Casa 31_4 Room House took four years for its refurbishment. The occupants are now enjoying the richness and intensity of experience that this renovation has created. This uniquely designed house reflects its own stories and amplify those of its current occupants. The home will be briefly opened as a show house during the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2014 Perth-based National Architecture Conference this May.