Operating out of Fremantle and Melbourne, Australian architecture studio Philip Stejskal Architecture has built a reputation over the last decade for their work especially ‘forever’ homes, well-conceived suburban dwellings in Australian suburbia. Stejskal leads a small but diverse team of architects who abide by the values– dignity, clever frugality, enduring flexibility, familiarity, and sustainability. The firm has been recognized for its work, locally and internationally.

Rethinking The Future Awards 2022

Here are 15 projects ranging from suburban housing to small commercial ventures showcasing the best of the office’s work:

1. BLINCO STREET HOUSE

A tight budget, a fly-in fly-out client, and the desire for a calm home in Fremantle gave Philip Stejskal Architecture the opportunity to imbue a humble suburban home with sophistication and elegance. To give the home a sense of grounding, the architects use brick building an introverted ground floor while opening up the upper floor and roof terrace to bring in light and the neighborhood. The use of light to create a domestic ambiance makes simple materials and fittings simply remarkable.

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2. FORREST STREET HOUSE

The Forrest Street House is one of Stejskal’s many rebranded suburban homes. In this house, the northern light is taken advantage of to open up the house to a back garden and a new open plan living space inside. The fluidity of the plan is further accentuated by a twisted roofscape that achieves weatherproofing and well-lit interior spaces along with an added aesthetic value of viewing the sky.

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3. PARMELIA STREET ALTERATIONS + ADDITIONS

An initial brief to add a sibling house to a heritage cottage in South Fremantle led to a reinterpretation of the site by the architects to alter and add a direct upscaling of the original house that has its own personality while weaving in the existing construction seamlessly. The alterations/additions adapt the structure to handle greater exposure to views, breezes, sun-shading, and adverse weather with shutters and screens.

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4. BELLEVUE TERRACE ALTERATIONS + ADDITIONS

The Bellevue Terrace is a project that seeks to create a transition space between an existing house and a front yard, one meter below the level of the house. The terrace designed as a result is a space that creates varying degrees of exteriority and interiority with adaptable screens and walls, creating a flexible ‘outdoor’ room in the inside of a house.

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5. SECOND AVENUE ADDITIONS + ALTERATIONS

To cater to a diagonal site with views of the city at a certain height and a brief to ensure privacy from neighbors, Philip Stejskal Architecture creates a timber-framed block made of fins and battens with a ‘brick link’ (using salvaged bricks) to the existing structure. This solution solves the issue of privacy by creating a screen that is allowed to be overtaken by vegetation, ensures spectacular views from a connecting roof terrace with a garden, and maintains the budget while creating an airy and light-filled space.

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6. SOUTH TERRACE ALTERATIONS + ADDITION

This project involves weaving the architectural language of a 100-year-old cottage with a contemporary construction across two split levels on a narrow plot to create informal domesticity for a family. The primary alteration was introducing north light across the interior space using high light funnels and negotiating the split levels around a courtyard, both eventually contributing to creating intimate and informal sitting spaces.

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7. CALAIS ROAD HOUSE

In a leafy suburb of Perth, a terraced back garden becomes the backdrop for this intelligently conceived house by Philip Stejskal. Taking advantage of the garden and strategically placing openings at the garden level, the house is lit naturally with views of the greenery. Deep recesses to protect from sunlight and a warm hue of minimal furnishings make this house a comfortable cocoon of sorts.

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8. MCLAREN STREET GROUPED DWELLINGS

The McLaren Street Grouped Dwellings is a developing project currently on hold, investigating an alternative to traditionally grouped housing typologies. It combines one complete family dwelling with three single bedroom dwellings, each with a private courtyard, and maintains privacy among the units without partition fences whilst encouraging community participation in a common garden. Each unit has a parking space with access to a common driveway, and gardens.

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9. HOUSELAB: CONCEPT SPACE

A concept space designed in collaboration with Habitus Magazine, Houselab investigates the ‘missing middle’– low rise middle income housing developments in walkable neighborhoods as an affordable middle ground between single-family detached homes and mid- or high-rise apartment buildings. The project contributes to the idea of a community-driven design with loose thresholds and shared community spaces.

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10. NOLA AVENUE HOUSE

Perched on a beachside dune in Perth, this project is split into three levels, with each level providing something different functionally and sensually to make a cohesive and comforting home for a growing family. The primary level engages with the street through a courtyard and captures the northern light, the sea view, and the sea breeze through a bay window in the living room. Above, the bedrooms frame a view of the Indian Ocean, and below, the backyard pool is accessed through a family den cut into the dune.

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11. CLEAR MIND STUDIO, WELLNESS CENTRE

The Clear Mind Studio is a wellness center designed by PSA as a fit out project in a brick and tile shell designed in the 1980s. The center came with a new design thinking for the firm with the discovery of floatation rooms and spa facilities as part of a program that required aesthetics to be weaved into acoustics and utility.

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12. NORDHOFF JEWELLERY

Nordhoff Jewellery is a small jewelry store designed by PFA, with the thesis to showcase the making of jewelry. The restrictions of the site made the architects design a puzzle of sorts with a funnel-shaped gallery for the customers to showcase and hiding all the behind-shop facilities behind the thickened walls with different shades of plyboard.

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13. LEFROY ROAD HOUSE

A reaction to the general propensity of designing a house like a box, the design of the Lefroy Road House by PFA, takes the shape of a box with subtracted volumes carved out to let in light, views, and breeze. The materiality of the project takes on from its industrial aesthetic neighborhood with brick and corrugated steel. The subtractive design takes advantage of passive cooling through courtyards and ground-source hydronic under-floor cooling.

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14. SHAKESPEARE STREET ALTERATIONS + ADDITIONS

To retrofit an existing house for a new decade of inhabitation, the design of this family home centers around increasing family storage, whilst establishing a seamless style language across renovations. Externally, a carport and shade are added, while the indoors are altered to add storage clever ways within the furniture.

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15. PHILIP STEJSKAL ARCHITECTURE STUDIO

The design of an architecture studio is possibly the best showcase for a studio’s ethos and design philosophy. Philip Stejskal designs the office within 1893 heritage-listed Atwell buildings. The 50 sqm space is lined with continuous cabinetry incorporating a kitchenette, library, and model storage. The indoors are flooded with natural light through a plywood shaft inserted into the ceiling. The shoe-string budget is well used to allow an adaptable space with curtains and visual privacy. This creates a well-lit and well-ventilated home for Philip Stejskal Architecture.

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Author

Ekam Singh Sahni is an architect with a penchant for writing and finding a sense of feeling in every human activity. He thinks of design as a primary attribute of human existence: from moving a chair in one's room to building an island in the middle of nowhere.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022