A sea change for a retired couple sparked a shift in the concept planning on a typical small lot. With such a prescribed code, building envelope and little room to move it was a good time to change the way of thinking. The lot commanded a view to the bay that could not be spoilt, so eliminating the typical arrangement of car accommodation and entry to the front of the site set the scene. Too often it is found that little thought is placed on planning for the lifestyle of the occupants and the site and more on what was done next door but in this case the clients were very accommodating in their trust of our experience to develop something that is a little unique to these lots, challenged their general way of living and could in fact be their ‘new direction’ into the rest of their lives.

Small lots can be great if the brief is reflective of the site such as this situation. Simply put the brief was to accommodate the couple in their day to day lives with nothing ‘too fancy’, everything they need on one easily accessible level with some spare spaces above for when the grand kids come to stay. The budget was tight, with $450K in total which meant simple, robust, efficient planning and execution of structural concepts/details needed rigour and confidence. With relief from the boundary for car access to the rear it left only a one room width space for the length of the house which in turn allowed the house to breath passively and give plenty of scope for solar gain.

The house is climatically responsive and interactive with the seasons and is very much is a result of intrinsic design form a strong concept and brief, yet one of the most enjoyable elements is the way that it interacts with the surrounds, both the physical site and the community….there is a real sense of connection.