Tiny Haus explores the micro-living movement and proves that bigger isn’t necessarily better housing mum, dad, kid + bub all in less than 32m², which is 1m² less than the area of the pool that sits next to it!
The success in micro-living is to utilise natural light, an outlook over the swimming pool, ample outdoor space and the productive use of every square inch of this house so that whilst compact, doesn’t feel like it.
This is a home that encourages the occupants to live an indoor/outdoor lifestyle, for the kids to get outside and play and to critically think about every single possession they own.
A triple storey bunk bed houses both kids as well as a play area below, each bunk looking out over the pool. The master bed tucks neatly into a niche with book racks and storage areas and food producing gardens take the environmental aspects of this project that one step further.
Environmental impact is one of the most critical subjects of our time, and in Australia, where we average some of the biggest homes in the world, in begs the question “how much do we really need?”
Tree Top House
More often than not, a modest budget does not mean a modest solution. An effective floor plan for an upper floor addition to an existing house on a sloping block and the enclosure of an existing elevated deck totally reworked how this house functioned.
An unashamedly bold intervention, the new upper floor brought sweeping views of the surrounding tree tops and gully vista into the master suite and home office, which freed up the original bedrooms so every child got a room of their own and the “everything room” below the deck became a space for movie night, art class, chill out or anything else that can be thought of.
To accommodate the tight budget, simple and raw materials were used in a beautiful way - Silvertop Ash ‘board and batten’ hardwood cladding, which the owner helped to prepare for installation, galvanized roofing, exposed roof eaves and rainchains rather than downpipes - an elegant solution to an area prone to mass amounts of leaf litter.
Expansive windows facing the northern light, louvre windows to capture breezes and a “zoning” of the house, to create parents zones, kids zones and family zones are all components that work together to make this house not only look good but also to work good!
The existing house on this very steep block sat at the bottom of a hill with an imposing driveway and staircase to access it. The clients brief was a renovation that connected them better to the street and the existing pool at the top of the hill whilst admitting more natural light and ventilation into the house.
The solution was found in an extension that stepped up the hill containing the new living, dining and kitchen oriented to the path of the sun and relegated the old poorly oriented building fabric to sleeping areas.
At the heart of the house is the home office so that all life happens around and passes through this space - to relay the clients sentiment: “This space is seriously awesome, really one of my favourite spots in the house – and the most used. Spacious, adaptable, and a lovely finish with light and air. “
Three words lined the top of this projects written brief… “light, bright and beautiful”. The house is unashamedly a modern one. The clients knew of two projects which they loved the style of - Piano House, a project in Europe, and a project in Queensland by an Australian architect. We took visual cues from both these projects and their materials to create the palette - it ended up being a very simple palette – white paint, timber and water. The simplicity of the white on white gives the design an air of elegance, whilst the character and subtle variation of the timber breathes warmth and life into the building. The ever-changing patina of the exterior as the sun and rain slowly silvers off the Spotted Gum cladding. And the water gives the house a bit of magic.
A central courtyard is a common feature in long narrow buildings as it allows you to bring more light into the deeper reaches of the building. We decided to make it the “wow” of the house – as the sun rises along one side of the house, and as it lowers on the other, light is reflected up onto the walls and ceiling, and you get all the ripples and patterns of the water - it’s a simple intervention that changes the dynamic of the space; and by being able to open the doors on both sides you can bring breezes into the house that pass over the water which cools the air.
This is a house flooded in light - there are views to the sky and not least the reflections off the water. These things will make it a house that people will continue to discover long after their first visit.
“Gunyah” is the oldest house in the Sutherland Shire, built c.1870 as part of the Thomas Holt Sutherland House Estate.
Barely surviving a decade of neglect, vandalism and almost demolished, this gem is finally to be saved.
A new addition that ‘hides’ behind the existing roof and large trees allows the cottage to be restored to its original state.
Gymea Bay Duplex
A dual occupancy project underway on the site of an existing run-down house. The new project will remove existing retaining walls to return the tiered land form to its original slope and the new structures will step with the slope of the land. A steel frame structure is proposed with a regional aesthetic of steel cladding and hardwood timbers.
The two dwellings are proposed to be located one behind the other to allow the living spaces and courtyards to be oriented to the North, capturing solar access throughout the day. Carefully designed roof overhangs and shading devices maximise solar access throughout winter months whilst blocking out direct sunlight during the summer months thus reducing the need for active heating and cooling. Ceiling fans and extensive use of louvre windows further improve the passive design aspects of the building.
Sustainable design was a critical consideration in the design of the building and in addition to the passive heating and cooling design features a photovoltaic system as well as rainwater harvesting to meet all the sites irrigation, toilet flushing and other water uses minimising the demand for town water supply and reducing the amount of stormwater runoff from the site.
Located on an unusual shaped block in the suburb of Yowie Bay, this site benefits from being surrounded by an untamed forest of Eucalypts and various other Australian natives. The initial brief asked to minimise any need for removing trees and the final design required none to be removed. Capitalising on the privacy afforded by the bush setting, this urban home enjoys an openess unprecedented in the area. This is a home that will allow the occupants to reconnect with the environment around them. Comfort has been a major priority of the design and with no air conditioning, the design relies on cross ventilation, ceiling fans and a central fireplace to maintain comfortable living conditions. A loft style home office offers views across the canopy as the owners carry out their work.
Strict planning rules restricted two story development on this site, however they did permit for loft rooms so effective use of the small block of land was made by incorporating bedrooms into the roof space.
Steep and high ceilings result in a compact house that has a lightness and airiness that creates an expansive sense of space. Contemporary, understated materials allow natural daylight and the play of light and shadow to be the centrepiece of this design.
The brief for this project was to create a compact home on a steeply sloping site. The design was laid out on a 4x4m grid and with the use of a double height living, a mezzanine library and an outdoor deck, the sense of space was much grander than would be expected of a two bedroom home just over 120 sq. meters.
Designed as a steel frame construction to maximise construction efficiency and minimise impacts to the existing stormwater retention. The design also includes extensive louvers to maximise cross ventilation, external blinds to control solar heat gain and a fireplace to keep things warm in winter.