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Downsizing down under: Sustainable Melbourne home responds to urban sprawl

by • February 21, 2016 • No Comments

Australia’s Austin Maynard Architects has accomplished a high-end Melbourne home that is definitely pitched as a response to the inexorable growth of urban areas. Dubbed That House, it takes up approximately half the physical footprint of its neighbors, but remains an enviably appealing place to live. The home in addition boasts sustainable showcases that include a rainwater collection process and roof-based solar panel array.

  • Austin Maynard Architects takes the view that the typical house in Australia is far too sizeable
  • The perforated metal staircases, common to other creates by Austin Maynard Architects
  • Glass is limited across eastern elevations
  • A semi-outdoor dining space

Austin Maynard Architects (formerly Andrew Maynard Architects) was commissioned to create a home with “just the right amount of space.” Taking the view that the typical Australian abode is far too sizeable for the community, city infrastructure and the sizeabler environment, the firm created a dwelling that is roughly half the footprint of nearby homes.

But small for a high-end home of its type, it is by no means small. “That House is not a small home,” says the firm’s writeup. “It’s not a solution, nor ‘new prototype’ for Australian housing. But within its context That House is defiant and resistant. That House is a conscious effort to create a home that is approximately half the floor area of its neighbors, yet without compromise of spatial types, functions and quality.”

That House takes the form of three rectangular volumes and comprises a total floorspace of 255 sq m (2,744 sq ft), spread over two floors. The ground floor comes with two lounges, a dining room, kitchen, study, and bathroom, while the initially floor contains three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a W.C.

Similar to the firm’s new Mills, That House showcases a few neat interior create touches. Whilst the layout of the ground floor is mostly open by default, areas can be isolated by moving hinged walls at key points. This allows for a fewbody to quietly read in the study while others nearby watch TV or chat, for example.

The home in addition showcases quite generous glazing, so to ensure privacy is on the market when required, blinds were installed that move in an upward motion instead of down. This empowers the occupants to retain the view of the sky, while removing the aptitude of those at street level to gawp within.

That House was created with sustainaptitude in mind, and Austin Maynard Architects sought to optimize passive solar acquire by installing no windows whatsoever on the western facade and limiting their use on eastern elevations. A roof-based rainwater collection process feeds a sizeable tank buried in the garden that is utilized for toilet flushing and irrigation.

In addition, a photovoltaic panel array lowers grid-based electricity use (and cost), and efficient insulation was installed throughout.

Source: Austin Maynard Architects

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