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Independent Living Unit - Nelson St. Fremantle

About the Residence

This single level addition provides a free standing pavilion at the rear of an existing home in South Fremantle. Designed as both independent living unit and/or pool house for family use and entertaining, the project preserves the integrity of the existing early twentieth century bungalow while expanding the functional options for the owners.

Changing family demographics and multi-generational living arrangements has given rise to an increase in people examining their existing homes for potential modification and re-purposing to accommodate ageing parents, fail-to-launch children, and more recently paying guests via home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb. Maintaining a level of independence from the main residence is ideal in preserving a flexible and more sustainable design solution for all residents.


The Nelson St. property contains an existing, early century home on a north-south oriented suburban lot, sitting at the northern street end. This was ideal for the proposed arrangement of a new building that bookends the site and creates a courtyard between the existing and new structures. Being a small home, the backyard was easily large enough to allow a modern pavilion building with its own external courtyard and pool at the rear of the block while still providing the original home a generous garden buffer zone between. 

The pavilion’s northern aspect utilizes passive solar-design principles while recognizing the client brief of a simple, elegant structure that adds a contemporary architectural response within the heritage precinct. The project successfully met the client brief to facilitate multi-generational family living, while offering the flexibility of expanding the family home to include a pool house and alfresco area as the needs of the family evolves over time. All of this is achieved without having to move house.

The development of ideas that were generated and tested in the conceptual stages of this design has led our architectural office more recently to a more considered response in designing new homes that could capture the same flexibility and logic of this addition. Our Valley Rd. residence is a built example of this.

The project is currently approved for construction.

Nelson Street Floorplan

Nelson Street Floorplan 1
Nelson Street Floorplan 2
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