SINGLE RESIDENTIAL AWARD (joint)
Odden Rodrigues for Avalon House.
Odden Rodrigues architect Simon Rodrigues does not believe Avalon House is a particularly remarkable building in itself, but rather that the context in which it is placed makes it unique.
The older parts of Avalon, just north of the Dawesville Channel, are filled with fibro beach houses with pitched roves. If Avalon House were located near these structures, Mr Rodrigues said, it would not appear as outstanding as it does in a new sub-development, where the developer has favoured a provincial-style of housing.
“In order to get around building guidelines, the task first seemed insurmountable, but in the end turned out to be relatively easy because of the way the regulations had been drafted,” Mr Rodrigues said.
“It was not without some amount of controversy that the house was built, though, and there was opposition to it.
“It has been nicknamed the ‘squash courts,’ ‘Osama Bin Laden’s bunker,’ and the ‘crayfish processing plant’, and we are quite proud of those nicknames.
“The building arches its back against the banality of the developer’s suburban development in the hinterland, a cartoon world of French provincial caricatures, and reaches upwards to permit elevated views of the ocean.
“The house eschews conventional notions of domestic comfort, often inappropriately transferred to the holiday home, by celebrating durability, practicality and beauty of steel and concrete.”
Judges said the house was a powerful and consistent response to the client brief for a contemporary equivalent of the 1960s Avalon beach house.
“This house demonstrates that architecture still has the capacity to respond to the Perth lifestyle and beach culture,” the panel said.
“The appropriateness of materials and the clear organisation of spaces in relation to this brief combined with a controlled approach to revealing the ocean views makes the Avalon house a memorable place to experience.”
Designed as a second residence, an extensive basement provides for the storage of several cars, a boat and trailer.
The north-west aspect and flanking walls provide sun coverage in summer and shelter from winter winds.