Read more about Graziella, Leo, and the family’s situation in regards to their project in Carina Heights below.
Architecture, at its core, should be about people. It should be about those people who dwell within it. This is particularly true when family is involved and never more true than when it’s being designed to accommodate an extended family.
Family was at the heart of the project that I undertook for Leo and Graziella. This was to be their forever home. They needed accommodation that would cater for themselves, both now and through their twilight years, their two daughters and a cousin who lived with them and their extended family.
Leo and Graziella owned a 1950’s style home, which was the starting point for the project. Entertaining, which revolved around good food and good wine, was important to Leo. Due to the extended family the property would need to accommodate, multicar accommodation was also an important consideration.
During our discussions, we came up with many great design solutions, but each understandably required considerable change to the existing home. Changes that Leo and Graziella felt would take them away from many of the things that they had grown to love over the 25 years that they had lived in the home.
Fortunately, a solution was close at hand, as they happened to own the adjoining property. So it was decided that their current home would move onto this block of land and a completely new home would be built on their existing block. Leo was delighted with this outcome, even though it meant 2 projects instead of 1.
During the design phase, careful planning was given to Leo and Graziella’s home in terms of their future needs. Accessibility will be a factor in time, so a lift was installed to allow easy access to the three levels of the home. The home was also designed with low maintenance in mind. A prefinished cladding was placed over the timber frame structure on the first floor and porcelain tiles over a block wall on the ground floor structure. The home’s windows and doors were anodised aluminium so the frames would never fade. The garden is contained in raised planters, to allow for low maintenance and ease of access.
Energy efficiency was high on the list of priorities. The design of the home catered for a good climatic response, being light and bright throughout the day and maximising the prevailing summer breezes to naturally cool the home. A completely integrated control system ensures that it’s easy to take advantage of these features, creating a cool, airy home that seldom requires artificial cooling in the form of air-conditioning.
A basement carpark was incorporated to handle the volume of vehicles that would reside at the property. But the space has been designed to be multi-purpose, able to also be used to cater for large functions. Waterproofing was important to ensure there would be no dampness or odours. This was achieved using a full tanking system, which is a waterproofing system that completely wraps the floor and walls sealing it off from the elements like a quality raincoat. We finished off the space with a polished concrete floor.
Leo and his family were ecstatic with all aspects of their new homes. They, in their words, love every inch of the finished result.