Doonan Commons is a terrace housing model in the inner western suburb of Nedlands. Located in a conservative area, the project provides nine down-sizer homes that are sympathetic to the surrounding single dwellings on large lots.

Responding to this context, we used face brickwork and metal wall cladding to reference to the pre- and post-war bungalow style of architecture found in the neighbourhood.

The buildings are oriented north-south to maximise their passive thermal control and to provide residents with the highest quality of amenity possible. This careful planning paid off when we achieved an average 8-star NatHERS rating across the entire development.

Each home has a wonderful connection to an outdoor space with a largely glazed northern facade that allows winter sun to penetrate deep into the living spaces.

We also paid special attention to the landscape and increased the green cover compared to the previous use, which comprised two stand-alone homes. The new development includes 32 trees of varying scales and canopy breadth; seven of which are located in the central driveway space, ensuring it has the same level of amenity as the private gardens.

The planting strategy by Pullyblank provides a variety of species with changing characteristics throughout the seasons, further adding to the visual quality of the development.

Whilst generous in proportions and amenity, the average size of each home – about 150sqm – is approximately 35% smaller than the average new home built in Western Australia currently, again challenging the accepted wisdom that bigger equals better.

Status: Completed 2022

Project Type:   Multi-residential – terrace houses

Client: Salander Property Group

Materials: Masonry, Concrete, Timber, Corrugated steel cladding


Architecture – MDC Architects

Landscape – Pullyblank Landscape Architecture

Interior Design – Rezen

Builder – Bruce Construction Design