In 2013 the ACT government brought in an initiative to allow a secondary dwelling of up to 75 sqm on a single residential house block, this on the basis that it met the Adaptable housing code, class C provisions.
This is going to have some really interesting outcomes in terms of affordability, housing flexibility and the creation of smaller dwellings in all Canberra suburbs. These new dwellings, which cannot be sold separately, will overtime create a stock of long term rental housing.
Taking full advantage of these new opportunities our practice is currently creating a beautiful concise two bedroom house with engaged outdoor living spaces, that respond to these new constraints in an informed and delightful manner.
The new house is in O'Connor, Canberra. It is a suburb that has always reminded me of the Midwest of the United States, trees in their Autumn flush touching across the wide streets, deep verges and rambling houses. That the suburb feels this way is down to Walter Burley Griffin's Chicago background and the influence of the 'Prairie School' upon him.
This new two bedroom house succeeds because the space is used in a clever way by necessity- the 75 sqm maximum size dictates that excess is banished and priorities are carefully weighed. Design always thrives on constraints- the clever solution, the overlapping of space, the integration of storage and volume
Some key ideas include, an external bath and shower in an enclosed courtyard open to the sky, a saw tooth warehouse style roof that brings north light deep into the spaces to create a sense of volume and height and an outdoor room that includes an outdoor kitchen.
Currently in the design phase, we can't wait to see the project built!