Mahogany House project is defined by the owners’ quest to create a comfortable, multi-generational home within an efficient floorplate. The response to the selected site has been driven by their intention to make the mature mahogany tree to the rear of the site a key feature in the experience of the finished dwelling.
Mount Waverley, VIC
Architecture & Interior Design
The plan for the new home is positioned to preserve the roots of three existing mature trees on the site including a liquid amber tree and a silver birch at the front of the site and a magnificent mahogany to the rear. The elements within the plan are oriented to maximise the visual and physical connections with central courtyard and the mahogany tree. In fact, the location of the mahogany tree has defined the central axis of the house including the central courtyard at entry point.
The house consists of two pods separated by a focal courtyard, which features a swimming pool. A double storey main living pod sits to the west and a single storey parents’ pod sits to the east. The two pods are connected by a central entrance and lounge space, which will reveal a surprise view into the central courtyard upon entering.
The main living pod is organised with the living space on the ground floor to maximise physical connection to the courtyard and pool. This space includes a well-equipped kitchen flowing through to the open plan dining and living space. The first floor features a spacious master suite with ensuite and walk in robe, two large bedrooms for the kids, main bathroom and a landing with a study space. Each of the upstairs bedrooms includes an angular bay window oriented to provide views of the mahogany tree while maintaining occupant privacy and preventing overlooking of neighbouring properties.
The parents’ pod features two bedrooms, a bathroom and a dedicated lounge with kitchenette, enabling visitors to withdraw to their own quarters as desired.
Broken into two trapezoidal forms reflected on each side, the facade reads as a triple fronted dwelling in keeping with the style of the existing homes in the area. The sharp roof angle creates interesting volumes internally. The exterior is clad in a locally made terracotta shingle, an unusual application for this material and part of our strategy to seek out options that suit our budget.
The interiors showcase biophilic design principles and designed to accommodate and integrate owners’ large collection of indoor plants, blurring the boundary between inside and out. The interiors palette is simple featuring materials such as concrete and plywood, with bold colours applied sparingly for visual interest.
Although not a certified Passive House, the project adopts principles of Passivhaus Design for dwellings. A key aspect of this is the use of Structural Insulated Panels instead of a traditional timber frame.
Mahogany House is humble in its greatness. It aspires to demonstrate how sustainable, multigenerational living can be achieved within an efficient suburban footprint. It showcases how thoughtful planning and clever design can maximise amenity, making the most of a reasonable budget.