What does a builder want from his own house?
Les and Caroline, the owners of this house are the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Les is a great builder who manages to combine easy going with perfectionist.
They wanted a house that suits them. Not trying to look different for the sake of it, but refusing to be stuck with the one size fits all model the building industry rams down our throat. We were immediately on the same page and hit it off the whole way along. This is important. Look for a designer you have something in common with. It makes the job of understanding each other so much easier.
Anyway, they wanted an alternative to the usual rectangular box with useless strips of grass down the side. They understand that rooms don’t need miles of space to function and feel good to be in. Actually, blowing out floor plans mostly ruins things. They were looking for joy in the relationship between the rooms and the space around it – the landscape.
A deceptively simple floor plan
It looks simple but it actually took quite a bit of thinking to get right. The site has a range of ocean and mountain views, from all corners of the block. We got them all by building two first storey pavilions with a bridge between them. To save space, the living area deck is relatively narrow, However, the interior can be converted to alfresco by effectively removing one wall, using stacker doors.
The ground floor is parking, storage and a studio retreat with access to an edible garden that closely interacts with the building.
3D computer modelling was essential for strategically accessing sunlight and views while maintaining privacy.
A happy ending
This house has been built and came out really nicely (must get some photos of this). This house demonstrates how a smaller building footprint on a town sized block has the advantages of easier solar access, more space for meaningful interaction with the landscape and scope for a more interesting and varied range of spaces.
Keep watching this space for photos of the Les masterpiece.