Blue Waters, Perth
|Architectural style||Art Deco|
|Location||Western Australia, Australia|
|Address||426 Canning Highway|
|Town or city||Como|
|Design and construction|
Blue Waters is a historic private residence located on Canning Highway in Como, Western Australia. The house was built in 1954 by Mabel and Keith Perron. Designed as a "party palace", it became the hub of the Perth social scene for many years.
Shortly before the Second World War, the Perrons were inspired by a magazine illustration of a Florida Art Deco house design. Construction of the 1930s design was delayed until 1954 because of wartime restrictions. Building materials were rationed during the war, and the design of Blue Waters involved a greater quantity of brickwork and glass than the quotas allowed. To overcome the handicap, Keith Perron established a brickworks. Other technical challenges could not be met in Australia, the curved glass windows and frames having to be shipped from the U.K.
The house became both a social hub and a landmark outside which tour buses would regularly pause. On a return trip from Darwin, the Perrons' two young sons brought back two baby crocodiles in a shoe box, and set up a small pond in the backyard for them. One was later donated to the Perth Zoo after venturing outside the property. Daughter Judith had a modelling career and used the house for photographic shoots. A cousin, Marshall Perron lived there for a while as a young man before establishing himself as a Northern Territory politician and chief minister.
In 1961 the house, complete with its original furniture, was sold to Joy and Eric Lillingston for ₤12,500 (A$25,000). In 1965, it was bought by a bookmaker named Bodica, and later by a Mr Sowden who was the deputy mayor of Fremantle. In the 1970s, the Norvillas family acquired it and stayed for 35 years before selling in 2006 to David Cavanagh. Cavanagh contacted the original owners for their advice in restoring the property to its original condition.
The house was listed on the Municipal Heritage Inventory of the City of South Perth in December 1994, affording it a "high level of protection" under the City of South Perth Town Planning Scheme. The statement of significance for the house's registration noted its "aesthetic, representative and rarity cultural heritage significance".
The building was designed by architect K. D'Alton, and has featured in national reference books on Australian architecture for its interwar design features and its distinctive curved glass windows.
- De Brito, Raquel (2010-12-23). "'Party palace' Blue Waters on market". The West Australian. Retrieved 2012-08-19.
- David Cavanagh (2012). "The Life and Times of Blue Waters". Retrieved 2012-08-19.
- Listed Places in Precinct 9: Como – City of South Perth Municipal Heritage Inventory. Published March 2000. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- Blue Waters - House at State Heritage Office. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
- Blue Waters at bluewatersperth.com.au (The spelling of the name is interpreted from the architect's stylised signature on his colour drawing.)