Architecture

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

The floor was built as a giant playhouse, which is a playground during the daytime and sitting area in the evening.

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

One of the most famous issues for any homeowner is storage space.

Some test out smart solutions and stowage, among other things, mess away under the stairs.

But most of us are still quite traditional and try to put things in closets or stalls.

The architect of this homeowner would be completely different. Here the floor was built as a giant toy box, which functions as a playground during the daytime and as a seating area in the evening.

For the architects of Austin Maynard Architects, the whole project was about to unite with the child and its joy in rotating.

– The trick is to work with the chaos the child creates, instead of trying to teach the child to be neat, explains Austin Maynard.

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The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

ON DAY: The architects created a giant playhouse, which is the children’s place during the day, but as the evening becomes a seating group. Photo: Peter Bennetts

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

ON THE KVELD: When the children have played away, it’s the adults’ turn to take over the playbox and turn it into a seating area. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Dressed the metal facade

The house is located in Melbourne, Australia, and originally it was a bungalow-like, one-storey building on the property.

The assignment from the builder, a mother-in-law with a demanding management job, was to create a home that was soaked with light and where the chaos of active children could easily be hidden.

– In the new part, we gave her a floor with a huge playbox, which could easily be converted into a bench in the evening.

The original facade and two of the rooms were retained, while a large open garden space separates the new and the old structure.

The back of the house faces the most solar-intensive direction. The owner found it uncomfortable to stay on this side while the sun was at its highest.

– We decided to dress the backdrop with a white perforated metal sleeve reflecting the sunlight, but also filtering it further into the building, describes Maynard.

Between the casing and the original fa├žade there is a volume that acts as a backyard. On sunny days the holster will be felt massively and safely, while on cloudy days and at twilight it becomes far less rigid, almost as if a blonde curtain is pulled over the facade.

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The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

DRAPERT: Facade facing the sun is dressed in a metal drapery, which both shields the interior of the sun while at the same time releasing the light. Photo: Peter Bennetts

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

AIR: Metal sheath is not laid directly on the outside of the facade, but is spaced apart from the rear wall. It creates a cool airiness in the rooms behind. Photo: Peter Bennetts

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

SKYGING: When the sun is right on the facade, the perforated metal coating creates a cool shadow effect within. Photo: Peter Bennetts

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

OLD AND NEW: Originally there was a one-storey bungalow on the property. It has got a two-storey extension, which rises above the roof of the bungalow, which is shown in the bottom of the image. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Sweep instead of picking

– Children’s best friend is the gravity. It helps them to get things down on the floor. But in this house we have made the gravity of the parents’ best friend, says Maynard.

– So instead of the parents constantly picking up and cleaning, we’ve created the floor of a big toy box that swallows all the mess.

This means that when toys and legos are to be cleaned, the diet is taken and the chaos sweeps into the box, which has loose limbs both in the front and on the top.

– It also works as a hideaway for the kids, Maynard adds.

In the evening, it’s the adults who take over. Then the playbox closes and it turns into a seat bench.

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The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

CHILD’S HOUSE: Children’s play was an important premise for the architects when they designed the house. Photo: Peter Bennetts

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

OPEN: The architects were aware that the house would live with the daily rhythm and the climate, so it was, among other things, installed large sliding glass doors in the facades. Photo: Peter Bennetts

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

WORKSHOP: One of the rooms in the original building was turned into a living room, with a large window facing the atrium built between the old and new building. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Corridors are wasted space usage

A fundamental thought of the architects when they created the interior was that the corridors should be nothing more than just supply routes between the rooms. For Maynard and his colleagues, the hallways had no value if they were just empty.

– We like to give the corridors a double function, so the kitchen occupies parts of the previous hallway, he explains.

This means that parts of the area originally occupied by the kitchen have been used as living rooms.

Upstairs in the second floor, the entire one wall in the large bedroom can be pushed aside so that the room becomes two feet longer.

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The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

OPEN: The interior of the extension is open. The architects’ attitude was that all the passages should have a function not just occupy land. Photo: Peter Bennetts

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

RIGHT OUT: A lot of glass has been used in the facades, and with doors that can be pushed aside. It provides quick and easy access to outdoor environments, like here from the kitchen and dining area.

Good audio environment

The same use of perforated metal is also found inside the house, including in the stairs.

– We have tried to create stairs that are lightweight, but at the same time robust.

The perforated staircases and floorboards have also created a sound environment that makes voices carry between floors and not stopped by massive staircases and floors.

That way, it’s not necessary to be in the same room or floor when talking together.

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The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

EDDERKOPP: Inside, it is also used perforated metal, both in floors and stairs.

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

FLORLETT: The use of white walls and the perforated floorboards creates a bright and light impression.

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

TRAPPER IN METAL: By using perforated metal in floors and staircases, it creates a sound environment that makes it easy to communicate between floors. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Space-based bathtub

The bathroom was small and the size of it was not changed during the reconstruction. But still it has grown.

– We put in large windows, and in that way we created a bright and sunny bathroom that is experiencing larger, describes Maynard.

A space-built bathtub was also installed to avoid areas where impurities could hide.

– When placing a bathtub in a small room, it creates small hiding places for dirt and dust. To avoid this, and to form a bathroom that was easy to clean, we built a fiber-plastic bath that goes all the way to the walls, with only a slight slit to allow excess water to drain into the drain under the tub.

The article continues underneath the image.

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

PLASTIC BUILDING: The fiberglass bath was built to measure, to minimize places where dust and dust could accumulate. Photo: Peter Bennetts

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

RIGHT UP IN THE BATHROOM: With a space-built bathtub you can also customize “boarding” according to your own needs and wishes. Photo: Peter Bennetts

Minimum environmental impact

One of the basic principles of Austin Maynard Architects is sustainability. It runs through in all their projects, so also in this house.

– We designed the house to make the most of the sunlight and the climate, so that the heating and cooling needs are reduced.

The outer roof is white to reflect the most of the sunlight, thus reducing the internal heat production in the summer. On the roof of the extension there are also mounted solar panels.

Furthermore, the need for internal air cooling is reduced by active use of sunscreen systems.

A large water tank has been dug down to collect rainwater, which is again used in the house’s water closets and to the garden water.

The owner wanted a neat house, the architect gave her a giant toy box

LONGSTRACT BUILDING: In the left part is the original single storey building, while the new extension extends to the right. Photo: Ill. : Austin Maynard Architects

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