Win-win result

In accommodating the client's wishes for this new house, the architect also had to meet a number of challenging requirements
This house was designed by Andy MacDonald with architecture, elevation, estate, facade, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, villa, window, white, gray
This house was designed by Andy MacDonald with Emanuele Rattazzi and Robert Kalocay. This is a view of the entrance from the lawn. There is an outdoor sofa on the wooden deck and a coffee table.

For most of us, when it comes to buying a piece of land on which to build a home, a typical checklist may include: in a good suburb, large enough backyard for a pool, and a decent view preferably of the sea.

When you come across such a property, it's natural to think you've hit the jackpot. It's only once the ink has dried on the contract that you become aware of the many quirks that reduce some of the lustre.

Luckily, a bit of unconventional thinking can overcome just about any obstacle, says architect Andy Macdonald of Mac-Interactive Architects.

"The site initially appears to be similar to most other suburban sites a slightly elongated rectangle. However, its individual peculiarities include a rather steep gradient sloping away from the street frontage and three neighbouring properties on the western boundary.

"Naturally, the best views from the site are to the southeast - the direction the neighbouring properties face."


This house was designed by Andy MacDonald with architecture, elevation, estate, facade, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, villa, window, white, gray
This house was designed by Andy MacDonald with Emanuele Rattazzi and Robert Kalocay. This is a view of the entrance from the lawn. There is an outdoor sofa on the wooden deck and a coffee table.

In order to maximise the view for the owners, and to ensure it wasn't blocked to the neighbours, and to comply with council guidelines concerning set-backs and the like, Macdonald designed the structure to read as a series of separate, yet connected, volumes positioned on top of each other.

"The lower level where the bedrooms are located takes the form of a parallelogram, while the upper level is a serpentine form overlaid upon this. The master bedroom is slightly elevated on a mid-level, almost mezzanine podium, in order to take advantage of the views, and to give it a sense of separateness to the rest of the house. The use of a distinct cladding material helps reinforce this separateness."

Creating a kink in the upper level allows a lot more of the open-plan living area to connect with the view, while also creating a sheltered deck area, which catches morning sun, but is spared the harsh afternoon heat and light.

"Viewed from the outside, the house appears to be a series of random angled projections, but once inside it is apparent that each works together to provide an uninterrupted line of sight through the interior and out towards the view," says Macdonald.

"The house receives ample natural light throughout the day and can be naturally cooled due to increased cross ventilation."

This house was designed by Andy MacDonald with architecture, daylighting, facade, home, house, real estate, wood, gray, teal
This house was designed by Andy MacDonald with Emanuele Rattazzi and Robert Kalocay. A view of the living area from the deck featuring wooden floors and two couches.

While it was designed as one large open area, the living space can be closed off as and when needed.

"Internal-cavity doors on either side of the feature wall can be used to enclose the media room ideal when the family is entertaining, as the kids can be in one space and the adults in the other."

Otherwise, the material palette has been used to demarcate spaces in the living areas, while the bedrooms and bathrooms have been given their own character.

"The danger of a house where it's too much of the same thing throughout, is that it can end up looking like a hotel. Bedrooms especially children's bedrooms and bathrooms are the ideal spaces for breaking away from the rest of the interior and having some fun."

"This property proves that through some innovative thinking you can accommodate the wishes of many parties to produce a home that incorporates sustainable principles, an element of fun and an overall liveability."

Oct 28, 2011

Credit list

Interior and kitchen design
Engineer
Cam Consulting
Cladding
Rendered masonry; eco-ply with batten detailing
Lighting
Mac-Interactive Architects
Cabinetry
Beech ply and 2-pack polyurethane
Builder
John Moussa
Landscaping
Peter Fudge
Wall coverings
Havana stone
Benchtops
Mosaici Carbone by CaesarStone
Fixtures and fittings
Sourced by owners
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