The clients had made considerable effort in planning a family house. It was a house for the grandparents to eventually retire into, the parents to live while making their families and careers, and for the 2 young daughters to grow and play and go to school from.
Various considerations were taken into before deciding on a location, architect, design, contractor, finishes, plants and appropriate cost. They brought with them substantial experiences of everyday living and the maintenance of houses and homes.
The architectural project was about creating a world that would be this family house.
In the middle of the house is a court covered by a big skylight where the stairs go around connecting the rooms and spaces spread over 3 levels. These spaces are differentiated by degrees of openness and privacy through changes in levels, enclosures and relations to gardens. The living space is 3 steps up and overlooks a raised wild garden that falls gently towards it. The garden walls enclose and extend the dining space and the house feels most open here while you eat and talk.
A separate space sits on the attic rooftop, a play room that is bounded by a garden and a lap pool and the sky. The depth of the lap pool is 1200mm. It is located 400mm from the attic level forming a long continuous seat to the outdoor area, and bumps into the level below creating a more intimate ceiling height to the small bedrooms below it. From the bedrooms, a small window slides into the walls or a mirrored panel pivot open up into the stair court.
As the contractor built the house, they also became aware of the necessary exact fit of the dimensions of the parts to the other. In the occupation of the house, the clients have found other uses; they sit on the 3 steps to the living while chatting, or rest. The girls throw their school clothes down the stair court when rushing down for their breakfast.
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