Urban Barnyard House
flexible space that will adapt as family needs change
Our clients came to us looking for more space, which would accommodate the demands of their family now and into the future. A bit wary of the vast expanses of 'open plan' that populate lifestyle and design magazines, they expressed a want for a balance of functional family spaces with more intimate zones to service a range of foreseeable future needs. This project demanded that we understood how they lived, and how they wished to live, in order to devise a responsive and flexible design solution.
the detail of the everyday informs how space is designed?
The client and the brief for this project were modest; they wanted a comfortable and inviting family home which would facilitate the comings and goings of their everyday life. Their response to our briefing questionnaire was rich with detail of their daily routines, their little joys and wants for the future. It became apparent that celebrating these little moments could inform the design.
Love of 'the first cuppa of the day' suggested that the kitchen and dining table should be bathed in morning light. With the dining area to the east, the kitchen was positioned in the centre of the floorplan - typically the darkest location - but with skylighting and connection to the surrounding indoor and outdoor living spaces, it is bright and open and truly functions as the busy heart of the home.
A free and easy connection with outdoor living (and their productive urban barnyard), suggested that while the home needed to be robust, there was an element of playfulness that could be accommodated. A window box seat overlooks the yard and its sliding window allows direct access. In the dining area, windows were placed with both humans and animals in mind.
"...what we were most struck by, was their attention from the start to understanding who we are, how we live now and how we are likely to live into the future as our family grows up."
/ kelly & damien — OWNERs /
Old and new
the addition respects the original home
In response to the existing buildings on the site and surrounds, the contemporary extension sits comfortably within the context.
Internally a bridging 'link' connects the old and the new. The dark walls and dropped ceiling provide a gentle transition from the period style of the original house. Sentimental elements of the original house, such as the fireplace bricks, solid timber paneled doors and a stained glass window, were salvaged and reused in new locations to continue the story of the old home.
open plan and privacy, living side by side
The living room and a study / guest room are connected to the kitchen and dining zone but also have the potential to be closed off to maximise flexibility. During the day the living room is open to the kitchen, allowing views to the rear yard and direct connection between the spaces. At night, the oversized sliding door gives the flexibility to provide a snug and intimate living room. The internal glazing maintains a level of visual connection with the kitchen and dining area.
The space tucked behind the kitchen can function easily as a study, playroom, teenagers' hangout, additional bedroom or guest room, as family needs change over time. Again, the large sliding door allows direct connection when needed and provides privacy when required.
a home to grow with
We thoroughly enjoyed working closely with this family to find little ways to bring their personality and lifestyle into the design. This home addresses their daily needs and provides flexibility to continue to do so as these needs change. With homeowners committed to a long-term vision, it is very rewarding to design a home that will grow with them. We look forward to seeing how it evolves over the next 20 years!