Dane Design Australia

Dane Design Australia
  • Address: 1/9 Griffin Drive, Dunsborough
  • Phone: (08) 9755 3861



As the designer of truly magnificent architecturally-innovative projects both in Australia and overseas, Dane Design Australia has consolidated itself as a leader in the design field. The recipient of a long list of industry accolades, including the 2012 Building Designers Association (BDA) WA chapter Design Excellence Award, Dane Richardson’s company specialises in private residential work across a wide range of budgets, and consistently delivers exceptional design.

Working throughout WA’s South-West, the company has also taken on projects in Perth and has worked as far afield as Bali. Richardson has also worked on large-scale projects in Indonesia, India and China, taking on design and construction management. With the majority of the company’s work secured through referrals from existing clientele, Dane Design Australia has not only designed spectacular new homes, but also meticulous renovations, including on heritage-listed homes. Working on a small number of projects at any time – from concept, through construction, to handover – allows the firm to give each home the time and attention it deserves.

This Eagle Bay property was designed by Dane Design Australia and built by Tallwood Constructions. The home was named best New Residential Building over 450m² at the State Building Design Awards in 2008, and is a holiday home for the Hong Kong-based owners, who wanted a luxurious yet relaxed home to enjoy in WA.

The clients sought a casual, comfortable ambience but did not wish to compromise on conveniences, home automation, security or communication. It was also important the home was environmentally sustainable and incorporated low energy use principles. Additionally, the clients wanted the design to be contemporary and open-plan. This became key to the overall design – the large open-planning of the main living room was developed as the core of the building.

The space was divided into areas with clear functions; the kitchen, dining area, and a space for sitting/relaxing. The large volume of space was divided by the use of a massive fireplace and level changes. This way, people are connected but are still able to enjoy different spaces in the same room. The north-facing terrace, with its built-in ‘fire box’, is the focus of all outside entertaining, providing a fantastic place to sit and stargaze in the evening – a specific request of the owners.

The home has two distinct wings. The children’s bedrooms, bathroom and games room have been located to the western side of the home, with the main bedroom and study on the eastern side. Richardson incorporated strong horizontal roof lines in the design, again at the request of the owners. The cantilevered and suspended bedroom wing, locally sourced limestone feature walls, spectacular views to the national park and low-maintenance materials suited to the harsh coastal environment, combine to make this outstanding home one the owners are proud of.

This project, Wall and Wall House, presented a different set of challenges. The two-acre rural site has a pre-defined, north-oriented building envelope, large numbers of trees and is in a high fire-risk location. Dane Design Australia was presented with a brief to create a small, single-storey, comfortable weekender that would cater for immediate family and any guests who dropped by. The clients wanted the home to focus on the natural bush setting and northern orientation, and wanted the home to be ‘special in some way’. Simple, robust and low-maintenance materials were also stipulated.

After struggling to find a project home that would suit the setting, the clients approached Dane Design Australia for a custom solution – something they initially thought would not be accessible within their strict budget. To their delight, Dane Design Australia was able to accommodate their requests and achieve the home they wanted with a custom design that was within their financial reach.

There are three bedrooms – a main bedroom, guest bedroom and bunk room that sleeps six – as well as three bathrooms and two internal living spaces; the open-living lounge/dining area and an activity room. Rammed limestone blade walls at the western end of the home were selected to protect the rooms beyond from sun, wind and fire, and the same walls were used at the eastern end, with a skillion roof between the groups of blade walls providing additional protection and striking visual consistency.

Concrete floors, local timber and double-glazed doors and windows were used in construction, while the northern terrace has a polycarbonate roof over a timber batten-lined ceiling. The battens have been spaced to allow sun and light into the home during winter yet reduce sun penetration in the summer months.

The home is largely self-sufficient and is environmentally responsible. All water is supplied by on-site collection tanks; the roof is double-insulated; the design allows for excellent cross-ventilation; areas can be closed off when not in use, which eliminates wasteful heating and cooling, and there is an abundance of firewood on-site to fuel the home’s wood heaters.

Strict council restrictions were accommodated to ensure the home conformed with bushfire area requirements – such as the external use of limestone instead of timber. This provides the clients with peace of mind when it comes to the safety of the home’s occupants, yet in no way compromises on the aesthetic quality of the stunning home. Built by Studium by Todd Huxley, the home is an excellent example of the beautiful and highly functional homes that can be seen throughout the South-West.

If you have a site befitting of an exceptional home, be it a weekender or permanent residence, contact Dane Design Australia.

Eagle Bay residence photography by James Stati

Wall and Wall residence photography by Lime – Mark Cooper