This duplex development, in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast, should be starting construction in the near future. I designed this detached duplex for the clients so they could live in one and use the other residence as a rental property. The design in simple and modern with plenty of space for their growing family.
The project uses Colorbond Matt as a cladding material in Monument, as shown below. Hopefully, I will get around to taking some photos as the build progresses.
Architecture is not about building the impossible, which we can do if we have enough money and enough tools and enough computers. It is about building what is appropriate and about attaining beauty through such an approach. I describe this premise as ‘inherent buildability’, and I believe it is central to what I do.
There are always limitations on design. Planning controls, site size, shape and slope, and building budget all impact on design. While it would be wonderful to be able to design without restrictions, architecture is all about being able to work within these limitations and still design something beautiful.
This is an award winning design by Nettleton Architects in Sydney. Its lightweight construction and clever detailing give the house the appearance of floating above the ground and works in with the natural contour of the site. The architect has also ensured light makes its way into the spaces in innovative ways creating a spacious and airy feel and links to the surrounding bushland.
There is a conception that utilising the services of an architect is only for high-end, big budget homes. But, not all architect designed homes are expensive to build. If fact, architects often design homes on tight budgets and their quality design skills can even save money during the build and afterwards in terms of running costs.
This architect designed home is located in Coomera, Gold Coast, Queensland, 252m2 in size and constructed at a cost of $320k. It is situated on a sloping site with street frontage to 3 sides. Originally, quotes from builders came back 20% over budget. By making changes to cladding materials, finishes and fixtures (e.g. benchtops, taps, fans, lights, basins, toilets, etc.) and negotiating with the builder, the architect was able to bring the cost back into budget.
The home comprises three levels and steps easily down the site. Different materials were used including stained plywood, corrugated metal and rendered masonry, to provide contrast and depth to the facades. The timber clad boxes at the front and rear of the home with flat roofs minimise the height and scale of the building to the street.
Inside, it has three generous bedrooms, open plan study, two bathrooms, open plan kitchen/living/dining, a media room and double garage. One of the main features of the house is the vaulted ceiling over the entry and main living areas. This creates the feeling the space is more generous than its actual proportions.
Despite being in Queensland, the home has been designed without a reliance on air-conditioning. The ceiling fans and carefully placed window locations allow the home to remain cool through the use of cross ventilation and evaporative cooling. The polished concrete floors act as a thermal mass to help keep cool underfoot.
The owner (my wife!) tells me the house is very comfortable home to live in. Actually, we both love living here. The house was designed specifically to meet the needs of my family and sits wonderfully on its sloping site overlooking bushland to the rear and parkland to the front. Also, it is in a wonderful community at Coomera Waters.
So, engaging an architect can actually save you money. Their problem solving and negotiating skills can often prove more cost-effective than having a set of plans drawn up without the expert advice and guidance you get from an architect.
Ask a Question
If you have any questions you’d like answered regarding architecture or home design, comment below or contact me via Facebook.