Viking Road, Dalkeith

new home, completed 2008

2003 Royal Australian Institute of Architects Commendation

Single Residential

Jury Comments

Category: Single Residential

Richard Szklarz continues to produce houses that delight. The interior of this single storey house located adjacent to the Tony Solarski designed church in Viking Road belies its modest exterior. Sweeping spaces, glazed walls and a decked courtyard are cocooned within.

The east wall of the Church is effectively utilised as the western edge of the courtyard. Large sails protect the glass from much of the direct sun.

The clients have received huge value for money. They did, however, discover that trying to do the right thing in Nedlands, by building a single storey house, can be a painful experience. The Council stifled the planning approval of the building for many months, over a minor site cover issue.

The outcome however, was worth the perseverance of both client and architect and serves to demonstrate how out of touch many planning schemes are with the realities of creating better housing.

2003 Royal Australian Institute of Architects Commendation


Category: Interior

A clearly planned single-story residence, with good zoning of parents and children’s zones, focussed around a central low maintenance courtyard. The thoroughness and uniformity of detail greatly impressed. Finishes throughout utilised high quality materials, with well thought out, yet simple detailing. The cabinetwork stood out in this residence; American oak, reconstituted stone bench-tops and stainless steel, all with elegant detailing and composition.

Day-lighting and the indoor-outdoor relationship was excellent. Whilst appearing open, due consideration was also given to privacy and security issues. Multi layered / angled ceilings with shadow-line cornice treatments cleverly concealed mechanical grilles and resulted in ‘floating’ elements. The extensive use of light stone floors also imbued a sense of ‘flow’, adding to the sense of spaciousness.

Overall the interior fit-out of the free-standing suburban residence was a delight, celebrating light, materiality and space, resulting in a home of tranquillity.

Project Description

The brief called for an informal, contemporary family home with consideration for future family demographic changes, varied and flexible entertainment areas and gallery spaces for art display.

A conscious decision was made to provide the required accommodation on one level, to understate the impact on the streetscape, reduce overlooking issues to southern and eastern neighbours.

This decision allowed for the provision of expansive glass. This was incorporated, providing large amounts of natural light and a connection to the external environment. Landscaping was then an integral consideration to provide the required screening along the site boundaries.

The transparency connects the living spaces to help make the meals/kitchen, dining/living and outdoor deck all work visually as one space while maintaining individuality.

The large entry doubles as a gallery with highlight windows for eastern natural light and an additional gallery space in the living and dining zone with glazing oriented to minimise direct light exposure.

Translucent glazing has been used extensively to help maintain the natural lighting in areas requiring higher degrees of privacy in the master bedroom and ensuite.

The southern wing was a response to the request that the house be effectively reduced in size at the time the university age children leave the home by providing a single door to close this space off and make the home practical for the smaller family unit.