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Architecture

In Melbourne, a beautiful home that adapts as its owners get older

Australian firm Austin Maynard Architects just finished work on an adaptable, multi-generational house that grows along with the young family living in it.

Charles, as it’s called, is located in Melbourne and was built to accommodate the different life stages of each family member.

“The client’s wanted a house they could live in for at least 25 years,” the firm wrote. “They wanted a home that could adapt to their young children’s needs as they grew into adulthood, and a place where they could comfortably accommodate grandparents in the near future.”

Charles (the house)

To achieve this, the team designed the structure with practicality and flexibility in mind.

The ground floor features a living room, which can be closed off eventually to turn into a Granny flat complete with its own bathroom and wheelchair-friendly, garden access.

The living room

On the second floor, the children’s bedrooms, living area, study, and hallways, can all be opened up or isolated from each other, depending on use or age (think of the kids wanting more privacy as they become teens).

The main bedroom, meanwhile, includes a walk-in-robe and ensuite, and can be accessed via a bridge.

The bedroom

“Multi-Generational housing is a double edged sword. It is wonderful in many ways – a diverse family home is often a healthy family home. However, Multi-Generational homes also reflect the nature of our economy and the dire consequences of housing un-affordability,” the architects explained.

The bathroom and hallway

“Though we approve of increasing the number of people in a home, we also approve of a broader support network from each member of the family unit,” they added. “We welcome a more complex understanding of what family means and recognise modern urban isolation, longer work days, child care difficulties, increases in retirement costs and the inaccessibility to quality affordable housing – for not only our young, but increasingly the elderly.”

The interiors

As for sustainability, the house comes with double stud walls, bulk insulation, solar array, water collection, double glazing, and adjustable sun shading and siting.

“Charles is one of our most sustainable homes,” the firm added.

The living room

Find out more about Austin Maynard Architects and their work here.

Charles (the house)

The kitchen

The interiors

Charles (the house)

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