Beyond demonstrating an example of functional beauty in the built form, House A represents the creative response to a brief that is close to the hearts of many young home buyers today – a group of people who care about owning a home but do not place value in all of the same ‘bells and whistles’ as their predecessors before them. There is a desire for quality over quantity, and a whole new set of constraints in place when living in such densely populated urban environments.
Whispering Smith recognises the great expenses of owning a home in Australia for new buyers and meets that challenge with clever solutions. Kate describes “Millennials’ housing is a breath of fresh air to us. They can’t afford big houses or big land, and generally want a more sustainable and simpler life. Instead of convincing potential clients to let go of the big-house-is-better idea, we’ve got millennials pushing us to be innovative.”
At a modest 70m ², House A is described as an apartment-house hybrid, yet by implementing highly considered design features that optimize the performance of the home, the space feels airy, open and extremely livable. Each room is an extension of the last and without the presence of doors (except for the downstairs loo) the whole space flows seamlessly into the next, extending through to the sun-filled courtyard. The juxtaposition of intimate privacy within the open plan of extending lines evokes the perfect balance of calm.
Materials are allowed to speak for themselves and each natural texture is celebrated when featured amongst quiet spans of simplicity. Minimalist geometric form gives the house strength and presence that is softened by the use of humble and purpose driven material selections. From the street, House A is a contrasting element amongst its traditional neighbors whilst harmoniously absorbing and blending into the natural palette of the environment. Choosing to use recycled bricks, timbers and concrete that require no additional finishes allows the home to mature with age and become a narrative of its existence. Photos by Ben Hosking;