The clients approached us to modernise their existing 1950s home to make better use of interior space. However, as work started, they learned they would be expecting a baby girl and so the brief was expanded into a design for a family home. It was decided that a new build house would be the most efficient way to achieve this goal, to ensure they were getting the most out of the site.
The structure is inspired by the iconic Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht—an architectural landmark of the De Stijl movement. Designed around open-plan living, Schröder House’s characteristics of total fluidity between interior and exterior questioned the notion of what a family home could represent. These principles of shared spaces, clean lines, and geometric forms were carried through in our design of Lawrie Park Gardens.
The form of the house has been created with a series of interlocking volumes derived from the key structural elements of the original house. Central to the plan is a void creating a double-height space from which natural light is allowed to flood through a large roof light. Kitchen, dining and living spaces are open-plan and interwoven between the two floors. Openings in walls have been used to borrow light and form clear lines of sight through the property. With the owners' desire for the space to be versatile and adaptive to family life, sliding partitions have been chosen to separate spaces when required.