Built-in giant toy-box maximises living space in Melbourne family home
Austin Maynard Architects were commissioned a typical task of extending a family home in Melbourne, but they included a few practical solutions and creative tricks that make the project truly outstanding. While the existing facade and front two rooms went through only a minor touch-up, a new build was erected containing two additional bedrooms, a bathroom, and an open plan kitchen, living and dining space. Though the extension meant considerable gain in squaremeter, the biggest issue in the narrow structure was still the economy of space. Hence the architects came up with unusual and clever ideas to maximize living area.
One brilliant solution was to switch up hanging cupboards on walls and utilise the deep flooring for storage purposes. The floor was turned into a giant toybox for the client’s young children, allowing for clutter to be packed away quickly. The 45 mm coves are deep enough for adults to sit in them, so the structure doubles as an alternative seating and lounging option. For the same space-saving purpose, corridors were minimised: the kitchen was relocated into one so the disengaged space could be used as one big living accommodation.
Besides maximising living areas, the second core idea of the redesign was the optimisation of incoming solar heat. For minimising incoming sunlight and heat, a perforated mesh cladding was raised around the backyard facade. For visual cohesiveness, the material reappears on various components of the interior, i.e. the staircase was also crafted from white steel mesh.
Besides fiddling around with spaces and physical proportions, these details define the house’s character. The toybox solution is already quite striking in itself, yet it is accompanied by statement furniture like the custom-made, no-joints, yellow bathtub.
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