Sweet parting

Not intimidated by the small space, the architect deliberately created partitions to give this open-plan interior some boundaries

This home by Two Laitudes architect Nic Brallara, apartment, architecture, building, cottage, facade, home, house, neighbourhood, property, real estate, residential area, roof, sky, suburb, tree, villa, window, black
This home by Two Laitudes architect Nic Brallara, was severly restricted by the hillside profile and land boundaries. A third storey was added to the original plans so that the house sits level with the street enterance.

Catering for the needs of a family with a small living space presents its own challenges, with the solution often being to open the interior. Such a design, however, does not always provide the privacy or personal space family members need.

This was the scenario faced by Two Latitudes architect Nic Ballara when designing his own house. He decided the best solution was to create specific functional and personal spaces within the small three-storey home.

"Completely open-plan designs can make people feel as though they are living in each other's laps. If you can divide and define each area, it helps," Ballara says.

The home's size was severely restricted by the site a narrow pocket of land on a steep cliff. Initial site works were difficult, as access to the uphill side was restricted by the existing garage and access to the lower street was via the 11-metre cliff face. The hillside was excavated and undermined and two storeys created.

Although Ballara initially designed this house for another family, he bought the section and redesigned it, adding a third level and ensuite. The house covers a total 60m², giving Ballara a small floor plan to work with.

The architect chose a horizontail window strip in architecture, ceiling, daylighting, floor, flooring, home, interior design, living room, room, table, wall, window, white
The architect chose a horizontail window strip in the dining room area.

The third level has became the entrance, connected to the house via a bridge from the garage. Inside, a circulation atrium extends down through the middle of the dwelling, forming a boundary between the living room, kitchen and dining room.

Ballara says despite the size of the main floor, the staircase is wide.

"We could've packed the staircase to its smallest size, but then we would have emphasised the small interior. Now it filters light down and gives a spacious feel."

As well as the staircase, the furniture, fireplace and kitchen counter are all large pieces, which fill the space comfortably.

A mesh panel on one side of the stairs provides a visual boundary between the living area and kitchen. The grid pattern is repeated throughout the interior, from the skylight to the wire-backed bar chairs and an authentic wool shed grill on the floor.

1 Living room. 2 Stairs. 3 Dining room. angle, area, design, diagram, floor plan, font, line, pattern, product design, purple, rectangle, square, text, white
1 Living room. 2 Stairs. 3 Dining room. 4 Kitchen. 5 Study. 6 Balcony. 7 Bedroom. 8 Bathrrom. 9 Entry and second living or quest room. 10 Courtyard 11 Ensuite.

Ballara says that as well as allowing light to permeate these structures, the grid pattern is repeated to create a theme and add interest to the interior.

The predominant light source is the large glass doors in the lounge, which open to a small balcony. Views are visible from almost anywhere in the room. The dining area is lit by the skylight and its sitting area framed by a strip window.

Ballara used environmentally friendly materials in home's construction, including renewable pine floorboards, solar panels and an ethanol flame fire.

Credit list

Southcoast Construction
Doors and windows
Commercial First; Miro Hardware; First Doors & Windows
Stotherm plaster system; Linea weatherboard from James Hardie
Roman blinds by Loder Interiors
Aesthetics Lighting
Heating system
EcoSmart Fire from Wesche Distributors
Bob McDonald sofa from Artikel
Oven, cooktop and dishwasher
Electrolux Gallery range from Kitchen’Things
Kitchen manufacturer
Your Kitchen
Door and window hardware
Norman Ellison Carpets; LVL pine flooring from Nelson Pine
Parihaka by Nadia Marychurch
Pendant light
Metropolis Dark Lighting from Aesthetics Lighting
Solar hot water system
Edwards GT Series from Solartech
KWC Eve kitchen faucet from The Plumbing Store

Story by: Trendsideas

06 Nov, 2007

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