Black house By Austin Maynard Architects

magic house

Project Specs

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通常很多家庭会随着孩子的到来而搬到郊区,但是这对伴侣很爱现在的家,因此委托建筑师为他们改造一个奇思妙想,孩子喜欢,大人也方便的住宅。

Hindsight
I had arranged to meet with Bill and Tracey on Tuesday evening. I was keen to show them my design for their apartment renovation. I had put together a package of sketches. On the cover I wrote the words “Hindsight; all the things I would have done as a new parent.

The siren call of the suburbs
A new baby often pushes us to conservatism and conformity. Bill and Tracey had lived in their two level Fitzroy apartment for almost six years when we first met. Their apartment was on the top floor of a beautiful MacRobertson factory where it commanded an expansive view over Edinburgh Gardens and the northern suburbs. Their’s was the location that we all dreamed of as young adults. However apartments like this are often abandoned if kids come into our lives. Increased space, an extra bathroom and a backyard are factors that often dictate a move to the suburbs. Yet Bill and Tracey loved their Fitzroy home. They did not want to leave. They wanted clever ideas that would allow them to have a child in their much loved home.

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Existing
The apartment needed a radical rethink. The stair was tight. So tight that it was, in fact, illegal. Carrying groceries upstairs was a nightmare. Carrying a child downstairs could even be dangerous. The lower level was dark, much of it internalised. The entry, on the lower level, was confined, dark and awkward. Prams and the bulky baby paraphernalia had no place in the apartment. They would inevitably occupy hallway space, forever tripped over by frustrated parents and visitors. Bill’s office, the centre of the lower level, had no natural light nor view outside. The upper level had ample space, however much of it was unused or wasted. With clever rearrangement an extra living area could be added.

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建筑师首先将黑暗密闭的楼梯裁掉,然后用白色可以透光的穿孔钢板搭建了一个能让光线渗透,充满开放感的楼梯,同时这个新楼梯也让原来紧靠楼梯没有窗户的工作室从黑暗中解脱出来,充满光明。当然,楼梯间下方的空间也没有放过,可以存放进婴儿车。

随着孩子到来的还有很多玩具和杂物,可不能让这些东西沾满了宝贵的空间,建筑师将地板抬高做成可以储物的地板,让大人从杂物的噩梦中解脱出来。此外具有一定深度的地板储物格还能成为孩子的游戏藏身处。

为了保持孩子一直在大人的视线中,建筑师将墙面转换成了大型的推拉门墙面,这样子房屋空间实现连贯,连通性加强。孩子在房间中玩耍也不会移除大人的视野。

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It’s a lot more complicated than you think!
For Bill and Tracey the biggest issue was space. How would they fit a baby into their home? For me the fundamental issue was much more than just increasing space. Armed with the hindsight of raising my own child, my concern was the radical day-to-day changes a baby brings. The endless management of ‘stuff’ was the key. The trick is to work with the chaos a child brings rather than naively hoping that your child will choose to be neat.

Parents, gravity conspires against you!
Gravity is colluding with your child. Gravity conspires in your child’s favour. Their target is your sanity. Parents constantly pick things up, while kid throws them down. Children love dropping things on the ground. We have all seen the torturous game of a baby sitting in a high chair throwing a toy to the ground the moment it is placed on their table. It’s cute the first three times. It’s a nightmare the next 200 times. While gravity amuses the child, it punishes the parent. At Black house we have made gravity the parents’ ally rather than the child’s. What if the floor could eat all the mess up?

玩具地板 The toy box floor
Let’s design a floor that swallows the mess. Rather than picking toys up to put back in the toy box, let’s make the floor one big toy box. Let’s get a broom and sweep all the lego in from the top and sides. It becomes a game for the child as well as a new hiding place for her to play.

 

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推拉门 Sliding wall

Your child wants to be with you, always, regardless of how wonderful their bedroom may be. Along with them they bring their toys, clothes and chaos. If we provide a bedroom that, at times, can feel like an extension of the shared family space, then it is likely that a child will play in their space and keep all of their stuff there. All you need to provide for your child is a line of sight and the ability to speak with you without leaving their room. To accomplish this we have added heavy sliding walls
rather than a fixed wall with standard door. If the child and/or you want to occupy one large space, the wall slides away so that the child’s room is an extension of the living spaces. If the child needs to sleep, study or wants privacy the heavy walls slide closed and lock in position.

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Pram park!

Beneath the stair is often lost space. Its the little things that make a house work well. Entering a house with a pram and a couple of bags can be surprisingly stressful. Here we have a small shelf to the left of the entry to drop bags and keys. A hidden hatch to the right to slide in the pram under the stairs. Its the perfect size for a pram, which is now hidden until it is needed next.

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建筑师还在这个二层小屋中设计了一个绞车,方便运输孩子的挖局,尿布,杂物,垃圾等等物品。他们坚信这个小小的装置可以让生活方便许多。

Winch
Try moving a fridge or a couch in an apartment. It sucks. It sucks a lot. ‘Stuff’ is always on the move in any house, especially a house with a baby in it. Groceries go up, garbage comes down. Clean nappies go up. Dirty nappies go down. Groceries go up. Recycling goes down. And toys just go everywhere. The new mesh floor, directly over the front door can be unlatched and a winch lowered to haul items of almost any size. It’s a small idea that makes a huge difference to your sanity.

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明亮的楼梯间与办工桌还有衣柜联系,充满光明的楼梯间不仅支持孩子们们玩耍和探索(给孩子一些五颜六色的磁铁就足够让他在楼梯上玩好多天),还支持他们坐在楼梯上同大人聊天。同时紧靠楼梯间的办公空间现在也因为处于房屋的核心位置而变成房屋的指挥中心。业主在这里,可以看见和听见房屋中的一切,同时这个空间和卫生间,卧室,洗衣间,客厅,餐厅,厨房都直接联系,前往非常方便。

从这个项目上,建筑师认为有了小孩不一定需要撤退到郊区生活。追求更多的空间不是正确的答案。通过设计,可以让空间更复杂,更有价值,也变得更大。只要勇于挑战,万事皆不是没可能。

Mesh is the best
Stairs are tricky. Especially in tight spaces. We have tried to create a stair that feels light like lace, which is difficult considering the constant live loads it is under. Steel mesh is folded allowing light to be shared while also enabling conversations to take place from one level to the other, without requiring you to be in the same space. This was previously impossible. The stair is also part desk, part laundry and part furniture. One can lounge on the steps and chat with both someone at the study and upstairs. Furthermore, as apartments at the top of old warehouses don’t typically have playgrounds for kids, the stair becomes a jungle gym for play and exploration. Give a child a handful of colourful magnets and a handful of pegs and that stair will keep them amused for days.

The command centre
Bill’s office was previously relegated to a dark corner under the stairs. He now has the ‘command centre’. The centre of the house, where he sees all and hears all. The child’s bedroom wall can be slid away so that father and daughter can see each other without the need to drag toys into the office. The mesh stairs wrap around the office allowing someone to sit and chat or quietly play or read on the stairs, in the same space as Bill. Utility, bathroom, bedroom, laundry, living, dining and kitchen are all directly linked with the office so that Bill can run the house with ease.

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建筑师还将原有的巨大单卫生间改建成了两个合理宽敞的卫生间。

1 bathroom = 2
The original bathroom was large. Arguably too large for an apartment. Bill and Tracey wanted an ensuite for themselves and a second bathroom for both the child and guests. To squeeze out maximum functional space we sliced the existing bathroom at an angle with each shower back to back. This rationalised the plumbing while also making use of every millimetre of space available.

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Black House
Retreating to the suburbs shouldn’t be the default decision. ‘More space’ is often not the answer. The answer is more complex, and can lead to great spaces that do just what you want. All you have to do is challenge your preconceptions.

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