Ideal House is a contemporary, architecturally designed project home. It harkens back to the era of designer suburbs, where architects designed high quality and affordable off-the-plan homes. The design was selected as a finalist in the House and Garden ‘My Ideal House’ competition.
Ideal House forms a stark contrast to the bloated McMansions of today, subverting the notion that a family home must be large to be liveable. It aims to balance market expectations with our need, as a culture, to reduce housing footprints.
The house is designed as a long, slender two storey bar that hugs the southern boundary of its site. This provides the home with one of the most prized elements of suburban life: a large expanse of sunny,
Formally, the house is composed of two key elements: an open and flexible ground floor, which is defined by rendered blade walls, and a quiet, introverted sleeping box. The ground floor contains all the main living spaces, which overlook the garden. The upper volume, meanwhile, is a white weatherboard box, and is occasionally animated by ventilation flaps.
The floor plan follows a clear architectural logic, lending the spaces good, flexible proportions. The southern wall is occupied by joinery and reading nooks, while a long northern deck receives winter sun. There is plentiful storage for all the stuff that characterises family life.
Upstairs, the worlds of children and adults are separated by a bridge, which connects to the master bedroom. A moment of spatial delight is provided by a high void over the dining table, and skylights bring plays of light and shadow to the interior.
The house encourages occupants to live consciously with their environment. The building envelope can be adjusted for seasonal comfort, bringing in light and fresh air, and moderating privacy and outlook. Downstairs, the building volume forms an eave, blocking out summer sun. A slab on the ground floor can store heat in winter.
The materiality imbues an affordable palette with elegance. Weatherboards are staggered like pleats, giving them a delicate, crafted quality, while Hebel blade walls are rendered in gentle hues.
This house provides good bones to its occupants. It favours good, simple proportions over architectural extravagances, and is simple, tasteful and restrained.