East Freo
Architecture, Projects

East Freo

Located in idyllic Fremantle, this home marries a heritage Federation facade with a contemporary renovation to create the ultimate family home.

From the front, this home is entirely unsuspecting, appearing as a beautiful, yet classic Federation home. However, the further you venture inside the home, the more spectacular it reveals itself to be. Bright, luminous, contemporary and liveable, Nic Brunsdon has transformed the family home into something truly stunning. 

Fremantle is renowned for its laissez-faire ambiance, a relaxed environment and nonchalant way of life. This home epitomises the relaxed coastal living synonymous with the seaside suburb. A seamless flow between indoors and out, natural materiality and cool colour palette distinguish the project.

A key design goal for the home was to ensure the extension and renovation sat in harmony with the existing federation features. A significant design challenge that Nic faced was the home’s narrow site and structure. This slim form created significantly dark spaces and meant that the home’s layout wasn’t able to be properly optimised. To counter this, Nic prioritised the home’s northern aspect, and extruded the addition of the new extension to the home's eastern and southern most borders. The benefit of this was a cohesive flow created between the home’s courtyard and living space, ideal for a family. Whilst they are an architecturally significant and beautiful part of our urban landscape, Federation Homes can often have a slightly dark interior due to their closed floor-plans and traditional design. Nic Brunsdon and his team sought to maintain the home’s heritage appeal whilst opening the space up to allow for improved lightflow. This was achieved through considerately placed skylights and a breezy courtyard through which the outside light spills into the lounge room.

Perhaps one of the most striking features of the home’s renovation is its tactile and distinct materiality. From textured walls, sleek timber cladding and an aged, exposed brick interior, Nic Brunsdon has imbued the Federation Home with a real earthiness, and connectivity to its surrounding landscape. Grounding the project with a distinctly earthy materiality, Bowral Bricks in Simmental Silver were used for the building’s communal entryway. The brick feature creates a unique design continuity with the traditional brick facade whilst retaining a contemporary feel, so as to sit comfortably alongside the more moden components of the home. For the home’s paving, Nubrik Traditional in Chapel Red is an elegant choice that aligns with the heritage history of the pre-existing home, offering a distinctly refined character and finish, the bricks are hard wearing whilst offering a beautiful patina that will continue to develop with time. 

Ensuring a sleek and timeless design, many of the home’s features and amenities are concealed, making way for the beauty of simplicity. The home’s fireplace is concealed in the wall, whilst the kitchen’s amenities are neatly integrated into its form. Offering a cooling ambiance, the bathroom is uniquely bold yet simultaneously pastel. A welcoming cocoon of aqua, with an almost spa-esque form, the shower is a stunning feature. Continuing these calming cool tones throughout the home, Brunsdon has incorporated navy walls and silver-blue rugs to imbue the home with a harmony to its geographical location; aside the Indian Ocean. 

The home’s history and its present have been delineated by the new and old entrances to the home. The latter, brings you directly into the home’s pre-existing structure, more traditional and with a darker palette; a relaxed ambiance created for the three bedrooms in the space. If you take the new entryway to the home, however, you are invited into an enclave whereby the home’s new extension meets the older structure. Here, the space is calm, neutral, with a natural materiality and complete feeling of harmony. This space is designed for repose, it’s neither ‘here nor there’ in terms of old and new, it’s the meeting place for the home’s history and its future.

“A key design goal for the home was to ensure the extension and renovation sat in harmony with the existing federation features.”

East Freo

“A key design goal for the home was to ensure the extension and renovation sat in harmony with the existing federation features.”

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Bowral Bricks in Simmental Silver
  • These distinctive dry pressed bricks made at our Bowral plant have been used in many of Australia’s most admired and historic buildings. With their unique granular patina and tactile aesthetic, Bowral bricks are highly prized by customers, architects and designers alike, and set the standard for design and integrity.
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