Tower House BY Austin Maynard Architects


image ©Peter Bennetts


Alphington, Australia

Tower House: a playful single-family fantasy by Austin Maynard Architects. The Australians Austin Maynard Architects stand out for their atypical construction solutions, what they call “architecture of enthusiasm”. So it’s no wonder that when a couple of eight-year-old twins – fond of art, nature and outdoor activities – asked them to reform their family home, they responded with an imaginative “Let’s design a town.” That was the origin of Tower House, located in Alphington, a neighborhood on the outskirts of Melbourne. The plot is near a park and the Yarra River, being delimited by a leafy rural road and a quiet street with few buildings. So, it seemed that the ideal was not going to be a great contemporary mass. The proposal was to create a series of small structures with gable roof, so that none of them dominated over the others in size or texture. Its external appearance as a village actually hides an amazing home, since all the frames are connected. In fact, although it gives the impression of being reduced from outside, the internal spaces are very spacious. It began with the restoration of the original building, which now includes children’s bedrooms, a bathroom and several common areas. The new wing is occupied by the kitchen-dining room, another bathroom, the master bedroom and a study. The concept of a single plant, so common in Australia, only breaks in the study of the twins. Here, a floor-to-ceiling bookcase highlights the verticality of a playful and welcoming area. The desks of the boys occupy the lower part, while a network hangs on top so that they can read while enjoying the panoramic view of the street and the backyard. In addition, dad and mom also have their own shelters. She has a place for meditation, slightly sunken, with the desk almost at the same level as the garden floor. He has his hiding place in a loft above the kitchen, right in the middle of the house. If we add to this the large front yard, open to friends and neighbors, there is no doubt that Tower House is a fantastic place to enjoy life.