At Iwan Iwanoff’s Marsala ‘Disco’ house in Perth, WA

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Inside the ‘disco house’: Inside the 1970s concrete mansion designed by one of Australia’s most famous architects – complete with cocktail bars and an illuminated checkerboard dance floor

  • A concrete mansion designed by the late Bulgarian architect Iwan Iwanoff hides glamorous and hip secrets
  • Inspired by 1970s Las Vegas, Marsala House was built around one key feature: an illuminated disco floor
  • The design also includes sunken living areas, two cocktail bars, a gym, an outdoor pool, and a spa
  • Iwanoff became known as Perth’s most celebrated architect after emigrating to Western Australia in 1950

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An imposing concrete mansion designed by the late Bulgarian architect Iwan Iwanoff, which looks like a prop from a dystopian movie set, hides a series of glamorous and hip secrets.

Inspired by a trip to Las Vegas in the 1970s, Perth-based builder Sergio Marsala commissioned Iwanoff to design his childhood home around an insanely extravagant feature: a ‘nightclub’ with an illuminated disco floor with chess boards.

The duo traveled extensively together, buying one-off accessories, furniture and artwork from all over the world to create the wacky masterpiece that is Marsala House, a 1,483 m2 property in Dianella, nine kilometers from Perth CBD, better known as the Disco House.

The design, with sunken living spaces synonymous with the Sin City of the 1970s, two cocktail bars, a gym, an outdoor pool and huge balconies offering panoramic views of the city, is now an important piece of Western Australian architectural history . .

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The house that built funk: this imposing concrete mansion, designed by the late Bulgarian architect Iwan Iwanoff, hides a series of glamorous and hip secrets

Built in 1976, Marsala is the newest home on the WA State Heritage Register and the only one of Iwanoff’s designs to be on the Heritage List.

Listing agent Danielle Geagea, who currently oversees the sale of the home for Zsa Zsa Property, describes it as an ‘architecturally significant home’.

“Not only is it a sculptural work of art, but also an incredible estate,” Ms Geagea told Daily Mail Australia.

With its lighted floor, DJ booth, Venetian chandelier and crocodile leather wallpaper, the famous disco room is like a Saturday Night Fever scene you’d never expect in the heart of a private family home.

The house is built around one extravagant feature: a 'nightclub' with a light-up checkerboard disco floor (photo)

The house is built around one extravagant feature: a ‘nightclub’ with a glowing disco floor with chessboards (photo)

The unique design includes sunken living spaces that are synonymous with the Sin City of the 1970s, a gym, a spa and an outdoor pool (photo)

The unique design includes sunken living spaces that are synonymous with the Sin City of the 1970s, a gym, a spa and an outdoor pool (photo)

Huge balconies capturing views of the city skyline wrap around the house

Huge balconies capturing views of the city skyline wrap around the house

The style of the house was inspired by a trip to Las Vegas in the 1970s

The style of the house was inspired by a trip to Las Vegas in the 1970s

Marsala is widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of Iwanoff's impressive portfolio

His signature brutalist style is evident in every corner of the 'Disco House', which is filled with rough, unfinished surfaces and elongated shapes.

Marsala is widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of Iwanoff’s impressive portfolio

Huge balconies wrap around the edge of the house, which is lavishly decorated with alpaca wool, Italian marble carpets and custom wallpaper inside.

Marsala is widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the late architect’s impressive portfolio, which also includes notable structures such as Golowin House in Mount Lawley, a five-minute drive north of Perth CBD.

Iwanoff, also known as Iwan Nickolow, was born in western Bulgaria in 1919 and studied architecture across Europe before emigrating to Fremantle, WA, where he lived until his death in 1986.

The interior is filled with sumptuous furnishings such as Italian marble and alpaca wool rugs

The interior is filled with sumptuous furnishings such as Italian marble and alpaca wool rugs

Built in 1976, Marsala is the newest home on the WA State Heritage Register and the only one of Iwanoff's designs to be on the Heritage List

Built in 1976, Marsala is the newest home on the WA State Heritage Register and the only one of Iwanoff’s designs to be on the Heritage List

After painstaking restorations during the 1990s, Marsala House was also awarded the 2011 Western Australian Heritage Council's Award for Outstanding Residential Conservation

After painstaking restorations during the 1990s, Marsala House was also awarded the 2011 Western Australian Heritage Council’s Award for Outstanding Residential Conservation

His signature brutalist style is evident in every corner of the ‘Disco House’, which is filled at the front with rough, unfinished surfaces, elongated shapes, straight lines and small windows.

Iwanoff was known for installing clerestory windows, an architectural technique dating back to the temples of ancient Egypt, in which rows of narrow windows are placed above eye level, flooding the interior with natural light, making the space feel bright, airy and significantly larger than the actual floor. size.

In addition to its heritage list, painstaking restorations during the 1990s saw Marsala House receive the 2011 Western Australian Heritage Council’s Award for Outstanding Residential Conservation, as well as the 2012 Australian Institute of Architects Prize for the preservation or restoration of a heritage site.

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