Stepping up comfortable family home by Kon Panagopoulos

Comfortable family home by Kon Panagopoulos
Story by: Mary Webb
This house was designed by Kon Panagopoulos and ceiling, estate, home, house, interior design, living room, property, real estate, room, brown
This house was designed by Kon Panagopoulos and Natalie Dixon of KP Architects. A view of the living area, with two couches, two chairs, wooden floors, a coffee table, a dining table and chairs, a kitchen island and a tv. There are also french doors leading onto the outdoor area.

Building a new home in an older suburb can pose a raft of challenges. Council regulations are often quite specific on issues such as street appearance and height-to-boundary ratios.

When the site is also steep and narrow, the complexity can multiply. Kon Panagopoulos and Natalie Dixon of KP Architects, however, saw these characteristics as an advantage.

"Our challenge was to create a house that sat within the building envelope and did not have too many level changes. We wanted a house where you could move easily between levels that connected, without having a strong sense of separation between them," says Panagopoulos.

The plan places the garage and utility areas at street level, with stairs rising up one side of the house to the front door and entry foyer. The main living runs from the middle of the house to the rear of the site, a metre-high split level above the foyer. This floor also accommodates children's bedrooms and a separate living area at the front. At the top of the house is a retreat for the parents containing a bedroom, ensuite and a private living space.

"The stairs rise up gently through the spaces, rather than dividing them," says the architect.

This house was designed by Kon Panagopoulos and architecture, deck, home, house, interior design, living room, outdoor structure, patio, real estate, brown
This house was designed by Kon Panagopoulos and Natalie Dixon of KP Architects. The outdoor area is shown here, with a long table and 6 chairs, there is also a seating bench running along the side of the area.

Because of the narrow site, the house had to be set back from the side boundaries, so the treatment of the edges of the section was critical.

"The risk with a long, narrow house is that rooms in the centre don't get much natural light," Panagopoulos says.

To avoid this pitfall, this house has been designed to take advantage of the boundary setbacks, particularly on the sunny, eastern side of the house. The land on this side a 1.5m x 50m strip that otherwise would have been wasted has been built up to the level of the main living areas, creating a large, sheltered courtyard that extends the indoor space. Glass sliding doors pull back along the full length of the living and dining level and stack away so the indoor and outdoor areas merge into a single, expansive whole.

The glass doors also help to bring plenty of natural light into the middle of the house.

A swimming pool across the rear of the property connects with the courtyard at one end. Building the pool 1.2m above ground level meant that fencing was not required, and water gently cascades over the front edge, creating a natural feature in the courtyard.

This house was designed by Kon Panagopoulos and architecture, backyard, cottage, courtyard, elevation, estate, facade, home, house, neighbourhood, property, real estate, residential area, villa
This house was designed by Kon Panagopoulos and Natalie Dixon of KP Architects.

"As well as making the most of the land to provide the owners with a good-sized family home on a small site, our design had to meet the council's aesthetic requirements that the house relate to the vernacular of this largely colonial-era suburb," says Panagopoulos.

References to the past are seen in the simple palette of materials timber and concrete, the rustic gatehouse and narrow, lattice-screened balcony across the street frontage on the first level of the house.

Garaging for four cars is recessed to reduce its impact from the street.

Oct 28, 2011

Credit list

Arrowood Construction
Homestone, Ace Stone & Tiles, Amber Albion, Beaumont Tiles, Classic Ceramics
Wall coverings
Beacon Lighting, LAD Group
Kitchen sink, taps
Zip water unit
Landscape design
KP Architects
BlueScope Steel
Feltex Carpets, hardwood
Paints and varnishes
Doors and windows, louvres
Vantage Aluminium
Window/door hardware
Ingersoll Rand
Kitchen cabinetry
Eveneer timber veneer, two-pack matt finish
WK Marble & Granite
Oven, ventilation, microwave, refrigeration
Fisher & Paykel
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