An Architects Own Family Home Designed to Feel Like a Tree House (House Tour)

Connected House presented a unique challenge for Albert Mo, unlike any other project he had done previously, as it involved designing an architects own home. Upon first arriving at the property, Albert was greeted with a dilapidated structure that had undergone uncaring renovations in the past. However, as he entered and ascended the stairs, he was met with a breathtaking view that instantly convinced him that this was the perfect home for him and his young family.

Located in Kew, Victoria, Connected House stands as an architects own home, seamlessly blending into the lush surroundings. As seen in the house tour, the architects own home incorporates experimental designs dating back to the 1950s and ‘60s, reflecting the architect’s connection to both history and the environment. With a focus on sustainable design for future generations, Albert has reduced the home’s footprint while electrifying all its components, from appliances to air conditioning, and balancing energy consumption with a solar panel system.

Central to the design of the architects own home was fostering connections. This notion is evident in the upstairs extension of the home, created as a dedicated space for the children. Serving dual purposes, this new addition functions as a rumpus room where the family can gather, imbuing the feeling of residing in a tree house. However, the most intriguing aspect lies in how the rumpus room integrates with the backyard and the front of the house: via a drawbridge, which is operated by a hand crank mechanism. It effortlessly lowers to link the rumpus room with the backyard, as seen in the house tour. This unique design element not only allows for immediate access to the outdoors but establishes a connection between the interior and exterior.

On the opposite side are a set of bi-fold doors, which, when opened, form a balcony, unveiling views of the courtyard and surrounding trees. At the heart of the design of an architects own home lies the idea of fostering connections, whether physical or visual. The courtyard is strategically positioned at the centre of the home to link with various exterior spaces. Additionally, upon opening the bi-fold doors and sliding doors, the courtyard serves as an additional layer of connection, bridging the gap between rooms, including the living, kitchen and bedrooms.

The upstairs area feels like a warehouse due to its rawness and minimalistic aesthetic. This industrial feeling continues downstairs, where materials like raw steel, glass panes, plywood surfaces, rustic barn doors, brick and concrete further reinforce this. However, to infuse warmth into the interior design of the home, plywood is utilised, spanning from floor to ceiling. In choosing materials and finishes, Albert draws inspiration from his Asian heritage and his affinity for modernist Japanese design principles. This influence can be seen in the bathroom and private spaces of an architects own home. Particularly, the bathroom features a wooden bathtub, Japanese tiles and grass cloth wallpaper – all of which were selected by Albert. Connected House by Albert Mo is an architects own home that embraces traditional Japanese aesthetics, connection and heritage.

00:00 – Introduction to the Architects Own Family Home
01:12 – The Experimental Location
01:59 – Connecting to the Landscape
02:35 – Key Themes of the Home
03:23 – The Raw Material Palette
03:58 – Honouring The Families Heritage
04:45 – A Focus On Sustainability
05:34 – Emulating A Tree House

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Photography by Derek Swalwell.
Architecture and interior design by Albert Mo.
Build by Block Constructions.
Landscape architecture by Mud Office.
Landscape contracting by Mode Landscaping.
Structural engineering by Ipsum Structures.
Joinery by Marant Industries.
Filmed by Derek Swalwell.
Edited by Harrison Moss.
Production by The Local Production.

Location: Kew, Victoria, Australia

The Local Project acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the land in Australia. We recognise the importance of Indigenous peoples in the identity of our country and continuing connections to Country and community. We pay our respect to Elders, past and present, and extend that respect to all Indigenous people of these lands.

#Architects #Home #Family

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