I designed this home in 1997, for a one acre block of land on the edge of the Margaret River township. Being remnant native forest, just uphill from the banks of the Margaret River, and walking distance to town, it was a perfect site. The design needed to reflect the needs of a busy blended family, with 3 children, ranging in age from 3 to 15 and parents who worked from home. “Having rented several homes over the past few years, we knew what spaces we needed, to bring harmony into the home’

The communal living space was a north facing kitchen/dining/living room with wood heating for winter, forest views to the north and access to the sun drenched terrace, and southern access to the wood shed, food growing areas, chook run, potting shed, arbored outdoor dining area floral garden. Over time, a separate one bedroom cottage was built for grandma, and a double garage with studio above.

The site had a 1 in 10 fall across it, so the house was divided into zones and cascaded down the slope combining single story, split levels, two story and attic spaces. These zones then reflected the functioning of family life. Terraces were created at each level to allow a natural flow from the indoors to outdoors, and to ensure that the outdoor spaces could be used easily for family life.

Early settlers to the region used the plentiful jarrah timbers to clad their houses and outbuildings. Homage was paid to this vernacular by sourcing fallen jarrah trees locally, milling them and fixing them in the traditional shiplap cladding method. This cladding blended the buildings back into the forest setting.

After 18 years of raising a family it was sold to a large extended family with similar needs. To see the property handed on to another growing family was the perfect outcome for them.

This above photo was later used as an example of sustainable design on the website of Witchcliffe Ecovillage, Margaret River.

Acknowledgements “Pamela Forward for the use of photos of the beautiful home she designed and built in Ashton St, Margaret River. A home that truly captures the essence of Margaret River.” See link below


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