We don't need so much space - we really don't

 

 
Photo: Pat Scala

Photo: Pat Scala

"Many houses now have more toilet seats than pairs of bum cheeks."

We could not agree more with this excellent article by experienced local architect Tony Trobe. There are so many great quotes in this story - I strongly encourage you to read it all

Tony describes how none of his clients want a McMansion but invariably their brief describes a 300 square meter home! He laments: "I would love to see more architectural briefs coming through the door requiring, say, just three bedrooms, one living area and a multipurpose room." 

We're pleased to say that this is exactly the sort of brief we typically work to, with the added criteria of an 8 star energy rating. Admittedly, some clients need a little convincing but they never end up disappointed. Our family homes typically range in size from 135 to 170 square metres and require much less than half the energy for heating and cooling compared a typical 6 star home. Smaller, smarter, more sustainable and more sociable. A well-designed, space-efficient footprint can feel and function like a much larger home, and, of course, they cost less to build and less to run. Its time to switch our thinking to the 'least house necessary' approach (more on that soon). With more than 50 completed homes designed to this model in Canberra and another 30+ at different stages of the architectural/science process or under construction, there is clearly a growing demand for an alternative approach.

"I remember well the obsession of 25 years ago requiring a design containing an often superfluous formal dining room. Most thought they needed it for resale but had no real need of it themselves. People now similarly build houses with additional rooms that they believe other people will want rather than meeting their own needs. With decreased size you can have higher quality of design for the same cost."

A 3 bedroom, 1 living area, 1 multi-purpose room, 150 square meter, 8 star, family home. Recently completed and housing a very happy family including 2 adults, 2 (sometimes 3) teenagers and a dog (and regularly visiting grandparents).

A 3 bedroom, 1 living area, 1 multi-purpose room, 150 square meter, 8 star, family home. Recently completed and housing a very happy family including 2 adults, 2 (sometimes 3) teenagers and a dog (and regularly visiting grandparents).