Austin Maynard Architects (AMA) have designed a house in Australia that’s getting a whole lot of attention, and it’s easy to see why. Simply named THAT House, this box-like dwelling is the result of a family’s wish to have ‘just the right amount of space’ in suburbia where houses are huge. Instead of designing a home with the same amount of space, AMA created a home with half the floor area of its neighbours — 225-square-metres — without compromising on style and livability.
‘Like many of our wonderful clients, the owners of THAT House are keen to be able to open up to the community rather than permanently hiding or fortifying themselves’, the Austin Maynard Architects (Andrew Maynard and Mark Austin) explained. ‘As Australian homes and culture become increasingly inward looking and protective, AMA is reacting against this trend. THAT House can open up to the outdoors, both private and public’.
The ground floor is as functional and inviting as it gets, featuring large areas that are easily shared by a family, but which also provide privacy depending on your mood. And when it comes time to gain privacy from the outside world, the home owners can simply draw window blinds that extend upwards instead of downwards, providing views of the street and garden, while controlling the lighting of the room.
As for how eco-friendly this home is, the Austin Maynard Architects team has done their homework and made THAT House as sustainable as possible.
‘Like all of our buildings, sustainability is at the core of THAT House’, they explained. ‘We have optimised passive solar gain into all north facing windows. All windows are double glazed. We have no glazing on western facades and limited glass on the eastern facades. White roofs drastically reduce urban heat sink and heat transfer internally.
‘High performance insulation is everywhere. Along with active management of shade, and passive ventilation demands on mechanical heating and cooling are drastically reduced. A large water tank has been buried within the rear yard. All roof water is captured and reused to flush toilets and water the garden. Where possible we have sourced local trades, materials and fittings. Solar panels with micro-inverters cover the new roof’.