To embark on the process of design and construction can be a daunting journey especially if it is being done for the first time. However, get it right and it can be one of the most rewarding experiences one can do.
We are currently working with a brave client that has allowed us to get involved with design despite factors like strict budget constraints, conservative development covenants and the aesthetic pressures of the prototypical housing that will ultimately surround them.
As a company, this scheme is our first real attempt at creating a non-project home in a volume housing mecca. Due to the traditional nature of the development as a whole, we are restricted to using the same materials and the same construction technique as other houses on location.
Having said this, any opportunity to design is exciting no matter what the circumstance, especially when the client has a strong value for lifestyle and detail. The following is a step-by-step description of what we have come up with.
As with most typical green fill subdivisions, street frontage consistency has to be maintained. From our point of view, the first, and somewhat obvious initial step was to create a facade that appears to conform but really only acts as a mask to what is happening beyond.
Once one enters though the gate house door a change in environment is both immediate and apparent. A timber walkway and an extensive landscaped courtyard opens up. From this point on timber detailing leads to the real house entry door, which is made of fixed clear glass.
With office and study to the right and a timber stair to the left one is lead toward the light of a double height kitchen and dining room. What makes this space special is that it has a raked truss from a height of 2400 to the celling level of the second story. Because most of the public area faces north this angled truss guides the eye towards the northern windows, the lower connecting with landscape and the upper the sky. It is a design move that in a way celebrates the northern linear aspect.
The family / living space which adjoins the kitchen and dining is off to the right and is set up for movies and as an area to relax. All these spaces link to a large outdoor room that literally doubles the size of the public space. We live in a subtropical environment, such an area is a must. The ground floor area is also equipped with a powder room, laundry with laundry chute form the upper level and a double garage with storage space.
Upstairs in order of plan begins with the TV room. This space is linked directly to a breakout deck with city views. Next comes bedrooms two, three and four. These spaces adjoin to a bathroom with separate toilet.
The master is next. This room is quite unique in that it cantilevers right out over the lower deck. From an elevational perspective it appears to be quite separate from the rest of the building and as a result achieves full 180 degree views. As one might expect, it also has it's own ensuite, separate toilet and walk-in-robe.
The total square meter size including decks and garage space is 345m2 and we believe it can be built for around $1150 to $1200 per square meter.