Usually when people need more living space, they either move or build bigger, but not this one family with twin boys. They didn’t want the typical huge house, so architect, Andrew Maynard created a tiny village for them instead.
Located in Alphington, a suburb north-east of Melbourne, the house was longer big enough to suit the needs of its residents. They asked Andrew Maynard Architects to extend the property. The idea was to create a residence that brings together community, art and nature, so the architect came up with a design for a cluster of volumes that could be mistaken for a group of small buildings, like a village. He named it Tower House.
“Tower House is anti-monolith: it is a village externally and a home internally,” explained Maynard. “The house defies logic as the exterior appears to be a series of small structures, while internally the spaces and functions are large and connected.” The original building was a simple single-story brick structure. Maynard added wood-shingled gables, one of which features the only two-story part of the home. The upper-level of this section of the home is dedicated to relaxing and play with a net floor and lots of light. This gabled addition was designed as the twins’ studio. This vertical space has a bookshelf running from floor to ceiling. There is a hanging net where the boys can read, hang out, and look out into the street and the backyard. Other features are mum’s library, dad’s sneaky hideaway spot, and a cool looking kitchen.
The open attitude of this house is also found in Tower House’s front yard, which has been made into a communal vegetable patch that welcomes neighbours to help themselves to the crops, or do a little gardening if they wish. The rest of the garden is surrounded by a high fence. “A variety of different activities can take place, whether shared or private. It’s the best of both worlds,” says Maynard of the village pretending to be a home, and a home pretending to be a village. The house was completed in 2014.