Changes in exterior materials and form help define the various zones of this family lakeside home

An industrial modern home for a family of eight cleverly caters for everyone to be together or in their own individualistic spaces

​​​​​​​Changes in exterior materials and form help define home, house, lakeside, property, residential, Altus Architecture, design,
​​​​​​​Changes in exterior materials and form help define the various zones of this family lakeside home by architect Tim Alt. On the upper level, the children’s bedrooms are on the right, while the parents bedroom suite is on the left – separated by a double storey main living area.

If you were asked to design a new home so it best suited a large family, something like the house featured here is probably not the first that would come to mind.

Yet when architect Tim Alt explains his rationale behind the way this home is organised and functions, it comes across as the ideal living environment for the family that includes four boys and two girls through a wide range of ages.

His starting point was being presented with a beautiful site – a large lakeside property, flat and open on the road side and with an impressive stand of mature oak trees at the back.

“The site really engenders the very active lifestyle that this family has,” says Alt. “They’re constantly doing something on or around water.”

While other homes in the surrounding development had typical suburban designs, these owners wanted to build a much more modern house.

“They also wanted something that – in their words – would be indestructible. And asked for the design to incorporate a children’s wing as far away from the master as possible.

With extensive glazing and exterior materials extending into house, interior design, living room, real estate, black, gray
With extensive glazing and exterior materials extending into the interior, this family home’s central living space becomes almost like an outdoor room. 

“The house had to be like a magnet for their children and their friends all year, which is why they wanted an indoor pool rather than a secondary living space.”

Alt’s interpretation of this set of requirements was a design that separates the home into distinct zones, each defined by its own materials and form.

The flat front yard includes a courtyard for bike riding and large grassed areas that can be used as spontaneous game spaces.

Sited at the front of the house, the garage is a low pavilion-like structure finished in a lightly textured white stucco. But it also doubles as a basketball court.

The main body of the house is divided into three zones – the children’s wing at one end and the parents’ wing at the other, with a double-height living room in between the two.

“What touches the ground is either glass or white stucco, while the two wings floating above are quite distinct.”

The upper level of the children’s wing is clad with panels of black-brown stained cedar planks that are bordered with black aluminium edging. This arrangement helps to moderate the scale of this wing, while also creating an unfamiliar pattern with a typical wood cladding material.

Meanwhile, the parents’ upper level is defined by its deep auburn brick structure, giving them a sense of sanctuary, both visually as well as spatially.

Despite the hard surfaces such as the concrete architecture, home, house, interior design, lobby, black, piano, windows, lighting, Altus Architecture
Despite the hard surfaces such as the concrete floor and steel staircase in this home for a family of six children, this living area is remarkably quiet – thanks to the acoustic material above the black painted, perforated steel ceiling.

Connecting these two structures, the living room is like a large glazed insertion, with views to the front of the property and to the lake at the back. Having the exterior materials – the cedar panels and brick – wrap into the interior space enhances this sense of insertion

“It feels almost as if it’s an outdoor room,” says the architect.

For the interiors, the owners wanted affordable and durable materials that could easily be replaced if they were damaged. So the large open living area has concrete floors plus a substantial staircase and bridge between the wings, both made of steel and concrete.

But while tough materials such as these would stand up to the rigours of six active children, there was also potential for the space to be very noisy. Alt resolved this by designing a custom ceiling of black painted perforated steel with acoustic panels above.

A similar ceiling design is seen in the indoor pool room – another potentially noisy part of the home – where sound is dampened by acoustic panels covered with perforated corrugated aluminium.

Another perforated aluminium ceiling in the kitchen fully conceals the lighting and the venting system above the cooktop.

Each of the three children’s bedrooms in this architecture, ceiling, interior design, real estate, room, brown
Each of the three children’s bedrooms in this home provides a fun and individualistic environment.

Durable materials are also prominent in the children’s bedrooms. Each of the three rooms houses two of the children, with the space consisting of a lower level and a loft-like space. The children can make their own choice of whether beds are on the lower or upper level.

They’ve also chosen their favourite colour wash for the plywood panel walls of the closet in each room – seen also on the hallway side – while flooring in the rooms is a practical and hardwearing rubber.

The result is a series of colourful, playful spaces and, with views past large oak trees towards the lake, they create a feeling much like being in a treehouse.

Alt says the design of the house has given the family the opportunity to live exactly the way they wanted to.

“It’s a very open home that allows the family to be together in different spaces. It’s also remarkably open to the exterior.

“And while interior materials are spartan, it’s still welcoming and comfortable.”

Credit list

Tim Alt, Altus Architecture + Design
Structural engineer
Stroh Engineering
Dark bronze Metal Standing Seam,PacClad
Polished concrete; Expanko rubber floor
Recessed – Juno; living room pendants – Tom Dixon
Marquis by Kingsman
Kitchen cabinetry
Ikea Black brown Oak and White; custom walnut
Kitchen sink
Cbath stainless steel
Oven and cooktop
Wolf gas
Microwave, refrigerator and dishwasher
Master bath vanity
Walnut; Caesarstone top
Bathroom floor and wall tiles
Lea Ceramiche
Elevation Homes
Stucco – Dryvit; brick – Endicott Clay Products; wood – cedar; Corten Steel
Doors and windows
JeldWen aluminium-clad wood windows
Sherwin Williams Pure White
Gas forced air and radiant floor heating
Living room furniture
Room & Board
Custom Pools
Benchtop and splashback
Custom inline fan
Water dispenser
Shower fittings
Juno; GeorgeKovacs

Story by: Paul Taylor

Photography by: Paul Crosby

25 Jul, 2018

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