When it comes to designing a forever home for a family with two young children, you can guarantee that storage is going to be of top priority. But what if the space you have to work with is a compact intimate lot rather than a generous acreage of land? This is exactly the conundrum faced by Nest Architects when dreaming up the 2 in 1 House. Keep reading to find out what they did to overcome it.
“Although the existing dwelling presented many spatial and structural challenges, the outcome demonstrates the capacity for small spaces to morph into a functioning, generous home.” – Nest Architects
A Home with History
The 2 in 1 House started life as an existing heritage building with many structural issues. Bad moisture retention in the ground meant that most of the existing stumps were rotting. What’s more, many of the walls were badly misaligned. Unfortunately, these issues were not uncovered until after construction. By this point, renovation work was already well under way and had to be dealt with so as not to cause major delays on site.
One of the key considerations for this home was storage. As the site was so small, a lot of the functionality of this home is embedded into the in-built joinery. The joinery in the study, for instance, doubles as a guest and day bed. Meanwhile in the family living quarters, floor to ceiling storage units double as a way to divide the open plan space.
A Lesson in Duality
Stephanie Kitingan, the lead designer of this project, shares that one of the key takeaways from this project was ‘the notion that space and functionality are not mutually exclusive’. Spaces can perform dual functions at separate times. Case in point, the girls’ shared bedroom comes complete with a large timber veneered sliding door. This enables the room to function as both the shared bonding space needed during their younger years, and the individual private space required as the girls grow older.
“Clearly defined areas have been designed to be fluid, each cavity slider disappearing to create open space and movement yet providing the option of closing each room to privacy – when solitude from the pack is necessary.” – Nest Architects
Along with storage, sustainability was an important part of the design brief. The owners of the 2 in 1 House are advocates for green living. Their vision of a dream home was one of scrupulous sustainability on a minimal budget.
Existing pavers were reused in the new landscaping works and recycled brick used for the external walls. The 2 in 1 House also boasts the addition of solar power, while all the fixtures and fittings were sourced second hand. Honest materials, such as exposed brick and concrete, were the order of the day, lending the home an urban industrial look.
Sticking with the sustainable theme, outside you can see the use of Danpalon cladding at the top of the home. The cladding dapples filtered light through the rear addition, allowing sun rays to heat the burnished concrete floor. This helps to increase the thermal capacity of the space without the use of heating.
Overall, this modest heritage home tackles all the key issues of modern home design head on, and to stunning effect. On the sustainability front, summarizing the 2 in 1 House becomes a case of what doesn’t it have. A listing of every green design aspect would make for another story in itself! As if that wasn’t enough, the home’s clever storage and flexible design proves that small space family living can work. All it takes is a little creative thinking.