Morley the Merrier


Edgy materials meet light-filled interiors in a home where entertaining is always on the cards!

After their plans to complete a duplex subdivision fell through, homeowners Sam and Sarah sold up and decided to have some fun with the construction of their home. After all, with Sam the co-director of Limitless Building, who better to build their dream home than the man himself?

Thanks to the masterfully creative architects at Dalecki Design, the light-infused Ash residence makes its mark in the quiet suburb of Morley, a mere 10km from Perth’s CBD. Drawn to the raw tactility of black brickwork, black exposed steel and timber cladding, the homeowners were after a unique modern structure with a mixed material palette and sleek box-on-box front elevation.

The building wraps around a central courtyard, creating a U-shaped design connecting to the outdoors, with sunlight warming the home’s edgy industrial aesthetic. Complete with a plunge pool, dragon tree and entertaining area, the courtyard is an outdoor oasis primed for entertaining or relaxing. The homeowners can open up the stacker doors, turn up the music and enjoy the combined area of the indoor/outdoor space.

With the house’s footprint taking up most of the lot, the addition of a rooftop garden brings nature into every space. Initial steps into the home reveal the courtyard, and every room has clear views of either of the two outdoor zones.

Environmental functionality and sustainability were at the heart of the design, and this U-shaped format again showcases the impact good design can have on thermal efficiency and natural airflow.

“The home’s northern orientation allows the sun to penetrate through the central courtyard into the house,” architect Janik Dalecki explains. “Large, correctly shaded north-facing openings located around this courtyard work to harness winter sun directly onto the thermal-mass-exposed concrete slab.”

Combined with a two-and-a-half storey entry void, north-facing clerestory windows flood additional light into the central passage of the home and exposing the brick feature wall to the sun.

Design is never just for one season; it’s a year-round process of keeping spaces populated with fresh air – warm in winter and cool in summer. “ All openings throughout the home are strategically positioned to capture the summer breezes, while the koi pond on the southern orientation of the home further assists in cooling this hot air before it enters the house,” Janik says.

Breezeblocks, too, are an artful addition, creating body and allowing in breezes. The Ash utilises low-emissivity glazing throughout, as well as a solar PV unit, in-ground rainwater collection tank and low-energy heat pump hot water system.

The young, growing family weren’t just thinking of today, but what would be needed as they “developed through the different stages of life”. The floor plan’s compact yet functional layout ensured the family never had to travel far and kept the house feeling connected.

“The home has been separated into two distinct zones, allowing both the children and the parents to have their own space and privacy as they grow,” Janik explains. However, functionality isn’t the only component of a well-designed home. Dalecki Design and Limitless Building have created an enviable atmosphere in the home, too.

Sam and Sarah have noted that the raw and moody ambience is ideal for relaxation in the evenings, while during the day the same richness of tone is provided but in a lighter, more energetic way.

This residence is a breath of fresh air for Perth and demonstrates the Aussie housing industry heading further towards sustainable, interconnected living where nature and lifestyle come into play. The Ash has space for friends and family to gather, enjoy the sun and feel refreshed by the environment.

Perhaps the owners say it best: “The visual appeal and function of waking up in a home with so much variety and spaces that flow so well is truly enjoyable.”

This is an excerpt from Grand Designs #8.5 – Pick up your copy today to keep reading!