The Pad in Western Australia property

The Pad Western Australia building Development, SHA Australian two-bed home, Oz architecture images

The Pad, Western Australia

4 September 2023

Design: Suzanne Hunt Architect (SHA)

Location: South Perth, Western Australia

The Pad in Western Australia

Photos by Dion Robeson

The Pad in Western Australia

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands that we work and play the Whadjuk People of the Noongar Nation their elders past, present, and emerging. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

The Pad in Western AustraliaThe Pad in Western Australia

Media Summary

SHA were approached by past clients to refurbish a ‘Mediterranean-style’ split-level strata unit however the projects brief changed to new-build when we discussed future needs and aging-in-place.

The result is The Pad, a beautifully detailed, Japanese-inspired, two-bed single-storey home. The architecture is deliberately understated with a minimal material palette of steel, timber, and polished plaster in muted tones.

Intimately connected to its surroundings, including the Canning River inlets, Swan River and views to the city, nature gently flows into the house via three internal landscaped courtyards providing light, views and breezes deep into the site.

This design demonstrates that it’s possible to create delightful and sustainable infill-housing in spite of multiple constraints and challenges imposed by strata by-laws and regulations.
By prioritizing access to light and views – and connections to nature – The Pad provides a welcoming residence for our clients to enjoy their retirement and entertain family and friends.

The Pad in Western Australia

Project Description

Approached by repeat clients in their 70’s to refurbish a ‘Mediterranean-style’ split-level strata unit The Pad’s brief ultimately changed to new-build after discussing aging-in-place. Located on the Swan Canning River Park, facing NW the 40mx12m site provides access and views over the foreshore, Swan River and city. Pedestrian/vehicular entry and access is via the gated complex to the south-east. Strict strata by-laws restricted height, aesthetics, access, materiality.

Passionate gardeners, with a love of birdlife our client’s brief was for an unpretentious sustainable, passive-designed, weather-responsive 2-bedroom home that connects to nature and views while providing privacy, security, accessibility, and flexibility for gatherings.

Designed to visually recede, The Pad is an understated single-storey home. The architecture is designed to be holistic and seamlessly surrounded by landscape. To the south dark-stained timber battens (discreetly hide the garage) and polished plaster walls gently lead to the Japanese inspired entry door via porcelain tiles. To the north an exposed steel frame surrounds full height, sliding doors that open and frame the stunning views.

The Pad in Western Australia

Adjacent, glazed doors/louvred-roof alfresco can be opened completely to the inside and/or outside with flush transitions. Together they ensure entertaining space may be doubled. All external doors to the north are protected from/for sun, security, and privacy by recessed remote controlled blinds. High level windows around the house offer relief from restrictive side setbacks and views to the sky.

Landscaping is integral to the success of The Pad. Three internal courtyards interspersed through the home essentially pull the rooms apart while connecting them physically/visually with lush landscaping. Each courtyard is secure, insect-screened and shaded by remote-controlled horizontal blinds diffusing natural light to rooms while ensuring cross-breezes, and views to the river/city reach deep into the home.

A series of Japanese-inspired, operable glazed walls and doors and retractable insect screens slide apart and into cavities at each courtyard, blurring the line between inside and out. Enhanced by Vulcan timber battens to the walls and ceiling, off-set by polished plaster, you feel as if you are walking along a bridge through a forest to the wetlands in the distance.
Sustainability and specifying local readily available materials were important.

The Pad in South Perth

Thermally modified sustainable pine battens; low-e glazing; Australian-made aluminum doors/windows and porcelain flooring tiles. 5.5Kw of solar panels and batteries generate and store renewable electricity onsite. Dedicated bike storage enables our clients to utilise nearby bike paths along the river, for recreation and local shopping.

This project results from a highly successful, experienced consultant, builder and architectural team collaboration and outstanding relationship with the owner.

By prioritising access to light, views and connections to nature, The Pad provides a welcoming residence for our clients to enjoy their retirement and entertain family and friends and represents excellent value for money future-proofing our clients’ aging.

The Pad is a delightful and sustainable infill housing project that overcomes multiple constraints and challenges imposed by strata by-laws and other regulations.

The Pad in South Perth The Pad in South Perth

Client Perspective

When I open the beautiful front door and walk into our new home, at first, I feel as if I am walking through a garden, and yet the house seems to wrap around me. As I continue towards the main living spaces, the house opens up to a light and beautiful space, which is comfortable all year round and very livable. Although we have very close neighbour’s, this design gives us complete privacy without compromising our views to the riverfront and parkland outside.


The Australian Institute of Architects Architecture Award for Interiors

The Mondeluce Award for Lighting

The Australian Timber Design Award for Interior Fitout

The Pad in South Perth

The Pad, Western Australia – Building Information

Design: Suzanne Hunt Architect
Builder: Valento Residences
Photographer: Dion Robeson
Stylist for Shoot: KT Crocker
Project size: 320 sqm
Site size: 511 sqm
Completion date: 2022
Building levels: 1

The Pad in South Perth

Photography: Dion Robeson

The Pad in Western Australia images / information received 040923 from Suzanne Hunt Architect (SHA)

Location: South Perth, Western Australia

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