16 July 2020
The very nature of Living Spaces has seen a dramatic transformation in the last few months. As lockdowns and social distancing have us inside our homes, we have been forced to consider how our architecture works for us and whether existing residential paradigms are equipped to facilitate a life spent increasingly inside their walls.
For the firms behind the shortlisted projects in the INDE.Awards Living Space category, these changing paradigms were not a reality as they conceived and completed their projects. And yet, as with all good architecture, each project displays consideration and a sense of foresight, offering roadmaps for flexibility and fluidity that will inform architectural narratives moving forward.
For category sponsor Gaggenau, enhancing the lives of a home’s residents is at the very heart of exceptional living design. “Exceptional living spaces should provide beautiful rooms that sit comfortably in their environment and provide real purpose for their inhabitants,” says Robert Warner, General Manager of BSH Home. “We design our products in much the same way, creating timeless and classical pieces that become a part of the overall design concept while retaining their individuality and distinct appeal,” says Robert.
It is this balance that surmises the 2020 Living Space shortlist: timeless and classical against individuality and distinctiveness. In a world of constant change and adaptation, these are homes that don’t reflect trends or styles, but echo the needs of people, providing spaces that facilitate living, working and learning, all while integrating inhabitants into nature.
At Edgar’s Creek House, pavilion style living brings the outdoors in, with multiple floor-to-ceiling sliding doors working as retractable walls that integrate the home into the surrounding bushland. Up Side Down Akubra House, located in the harsh climate of rural New South Wales, takes this a step further, with architect Alexander Symes making use of exemplar sustainability technologies to build a home that is entirely off-grid. Reimaging the vernacular of farming architecture, the project’s soaring solar panelled roof maximises opportunities for sun and rain catchments, while an 8kW solar voltaic system, in-slab hydronic heating and cooling system and a 107,000-litre rainwater tank create a home that is one with its landscape.
Where these connections are not possible, or made more difficult by dense suburbia, Indonesia’s Expandable House shows that sometimes, the only way is up. With adaptability at its core, Expandable House does what its name suggests, responding to the dynamics of rapid urbanisation with a series of in-built solutions that can be utilised as and when situations change. From a hoistable roof to productive landscapes, this home is a model for living, where city fringes become hospitable places driven by dynamic architecture. Rob Warner, of category sponsor Gaggenau notes that the fundamental success of Expendable House is its opportunity for choice: “Optimisation and customisation is very appealing and helps to create really functional spaces that suit the individual living needs of the local inhabitants,” he says.
From the promise of new dwellings to the allure of the old, Three Stories North and Clinker Brick House provide considered solutions for bringing historic buildings into a modern context. In both cases, the architects have re-energised existing spaces, creating additions and new opportunities for living. At Three Stories North, two terraces become one, anchored by a nine-metre-high void that draws light into home’s centre. Meanwhile, Clinker Brick House has a curling extension – a new sweeping arm that frames an outdoor terrace and supports a cascading roof garden.
Who will win INDE.Gold? Join us and the region’s top winners at the free INDE.Awards 2020 Digital Gala this August 13. Register here.