Looking out to jaw-dropping sea views, this West Australian home brings the beauty of the outdoors in.
When designing a house with a view of the sweeping Swan River, the first rule should be: get out of the way; and this is precisely what the architect of this three-storey apartment in Perth has done.
“The residence has a clear vision: let the occupants experience the landscape from the moment they set foot on the site,” said project architect John LeClare Josephs, from Superseed Architecture.
Perched about 25 metres above sea level and etched into the limestone cliff-side over Perth’s sought-after Blackwall Reach, this singular residence is separated into two clear volumes, joined by transparent sun halls to provide an unobstructed vision from virtually any angle.
Done with no end-user client in mind, the house, aptly named Infinity Views, nods to the undulating waves of the Swan River as well as the textural quality of its surroundings. Josephs says the developer aimed to create an original and stunning design on a complex site, which would in turn impress a future buyer.
With design cues derived from the luxury yachts on the curving Swan River below, the two volumes, clad in teak (“a very salt hardy timber used to create brightwork on ships”) meld into the adjoining landscape. The design attention is directed not to the grand entranceways, stairs and porticos, but the unparalleled panoramic views of the river and beyond.
The house sprawls over 560 metres on an impressive 730-metre square site. With a residence of such size, you’d expect it to be unabashedly loud and in-your-face, but Infinity Views has such a subtle street presence that makes it irresistibly alluring.
“That's partly because the house is entered from the third floor, which is the highest level, and partially due to design consideration where we consciously endeavoured to be sensitive to the landscape and minimise the mass of the form from the street,” Josephs explains.
From the outside, the home appears to be single storey and much smaller than its neighbouring properties. It is only when one explores the home, traversing down a further two levels, that the scale become apparent.
And it’s not just the architectural aspect that’s demanding. When it came to selecting furnishings, the unconventional site, likewise, posed a unique challenge.
“The home responds to its location with expansive windows, large open-plan living areas and alfresco spaces perfect for entertaining and enjoying the outdoors,” says project architect Salvatore Fazzari, from Mobilia, who helmed the furniture and design curation.
“With this in mind, we selected furnishings with soft, free-flowing forms to juxtapose the architecture and create a homely feel without interrupting the outlook.”
Featuring natural materials, including sustainably sourced teak timber cladding, raw concrete and Caesarstone quartz, the palette is intentionally made neutral to tie into its environment.
On the upper level, the surrounding landscape is framed with two distinct spaces flanking a transparent hall. Raw concrete flooring in the open-plan living area is brought to life with the rich greens of Golran’s Garden of Eden March Free Shape Rug, set with the iconic Cassina Cab Chair in tan leather, and the La Rotonda glass table.
Defining the main lounge area is Cassina’s Beam modular sofa, complemented by the Super Beam low table; Tre Pezzi armchair; cc-tapis Mindscape Mimic rug; and the Punt Stockholm sideboard.
Downstairs, a similar configuration involves two volumes and a connecting transparent corridor; this time finished with the cc-tapis Ziggurat rug that injects a touch of playfulness.
The lounge, overlooking expansive river views, features Moroso’s sculptural Ruff armchair by Patricia Urquiola, and Astep’s reissue of the Model 548 table lamp designed in the 1950s by Gino Sarfatti.
The alfresco area is furnished in its entirety with Kettal’s outdoor range, selected to reflect the idyllic landscape enclosing it. “We wanted the setting to become part of its surrounds and not steal its spotlight,” Fazzari says.
The team opted for various shades of green, including the Roll Club armchair and Vimini Settee by Urquiola, and the Block rug by Doshi Levien, to reference the cliff-side outlook.
Exiting the main entertaining and living areas on the upper levels, we arrive at the more private bedroom spaces below that also include guest quarters and service areas.
On the ground floor, the entertaining area looks onto spectacular river views set against a cascading infinity edge lap pool and decked barbecue area, along with the Cassina Trampoline daybed, creating an elegant and striking focal point. It’s an ideal place to kickback after an invigorating swim.
The impressive catalogue notwithstanding, Infinity Views is still very much a house for living in, with an elevator accessing all three levels, garage parking for four cars on two levels, four expansive en-suites, a massive indoor and outdoor kitchen, wine cellar, smart automation throughout, and more; with masses of covered and uncovered space for its residents to enjoy the outdoor and views all-year long.
If you fancy dinner at the kitchen table, that’s fine; likewise in the airy half-covered terrace, or below on the ground floor in front of the lap pool.
Perhaps most amazing is how the house comes to epitomise what is known as the unfussy Australian lifestyle, one that pivots to the outdoors, with an abundance of natural light.
Like an opulent ship sailing in the ocean, the house reacts in composition to its context, creating a form where the dwellers continuously look outwards, forever flirting with the relentlessly rolling waves and the soft caress of the breeze. It seriously can’t get any more Australian than that.