A new family house for a long narrow north facing property in the beachside suburb of Cottesloe, Western Australia.

Studio: Paul Burnham Architect Pty Ltd
Design: Paul Burnham
Area: 400m2
Year: 2009
Location: Cottesloe, Western Australia
Consultants: RJ Thorpe & Associates Structural Engineers
Photography: John Chisholm
Contractor: Hutcherson Construction

Rosser Street Residence By Paul Burnham Architect Pty Ltd - Sheet3
©John Chisholm

The raised site allowed the basement garage to be set at street level allowing for elevated ground and first floor levels. The upper level has been lifted to the maximum height permitted under the local planning scheme to take the best advantage of the panoramic view potential.

The new residence is separated into two distinct zones. The ground floor comprises entry, children’s bedrooms and children’s living areas, complete with separate kitchen facilities. The first floor contains the master bedroom, study, kitchen and main living area. The two separate living areas are each north facing rooms benefiting from their own distinct and private north facing outdoor living areas.

Rosser Street Residence By Paul Burnham Architect Pty Ltd - Sheet5
©John Chisholm

The ground floor internal & external living areas are enclosed by a long lap pool and spa. The topography of the site allowed the pool to be located 1.5m from the front boundary and elevated some 3m above street level. This enabled the pool to be completely private and unseen from the street while remaining exposed to year round northern sun.

The design objective was to offset the narrow north facing frontage with numerous north penetrating windows to bring natural light, ventilation and winter sun throughout the length of the upper level of the residence. The solution was to articulate the building volume into five equal bays each distinguished with it’s own north facing saw tooth roof window providing penetrating winter sun.

Rosser Street Residence By Paul Burnham Architect Pty Ltd - Sheet
©John Chisholm

A narrow entry path and deeply set back entry contribute to the sense of privacy and seclusion.  Entry down the long path gradually reveals the concealed pool.

The house is a very private residence. The building form is simply executed and finished, consistent with casual living in a beachside evironment.


Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.