779 Pinjarra Rd Barragup
Constructed from 1975
|Municipal Inventory||Adopted||25 Aug 2011||Category B||
Kelly House demonstrates a high level of technical achievement in residential construction. Kelly House is a rare example of a concrete dome residence in Western Australia. Kelly House is a highly unusual example of the owner-builder tradition in this State.
Kelly House is an elliptical dome residence constructed of a thin concrete shell supported on brickwork under walls, and brick piers. It tapers at ten points to create parabolic arches reminiscent of Roy Ground’s Shine Dome in Canberra.
Concrete shell structures were introduced to the United States in the early 1930s, importing
the technology from Germany. Their development and promotion, was very successful, and
a large number of industrial buildings were built during World War II. For a decade, starting
from 1956, architectural magazines were full of examples of structures built by many
In the 1950s, prominent Melbourne’s architect, Roy Grounds, designed a series of purely
geometrically formed buildings, such as a circle, an equilateral triangle, and a square with a
circular void in the centre. One notable achievement was The Shine Dome (1959),
Canberra, which consists of a flattened concrete shell tapering off to sixteen points, creating
a parabolic arch between each load point.
Kevin Kelly was a carpenter from Victoria Park, Western Australia, who obtained his
builders ticket in order to construct a family home in 1966. His daughter, Ms Janice Hill,
recalls his ‘inventive mind’ always experimenting with dome shapes, starting with small
scale models, and increasing to a small
workshop (still extant), before finally building a family home along the same design in Ruan
Although superficially similar to commercial designs from the 1960s (e.g. the Binishell), this
place is an unusual example of the tradition of the designer owner-builder in Western
Australia, demonstrating Kevin Kelly’s aesthetic sensibility and his considerable skills in
design and fabrication.
The place demonstrates a high level of technical achievement in residential construction.
After it was constructed, Ms Hill recalls great interest from people, many of whom would
drive by just to look at the house.
Subsequent to this residence, in the mid-1970s Mr Kelly constructed Kelly House at
Barragup, where he currently (2011) resides.
Individual Building or Group
|Original Use||RESIDENTIAL||Single storey residence|
|Present Use||RESIDENTIAL||Single storey residence|
|DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY||Settlements|
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