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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. Australia
  5. Austin Maynard Architects
  6. 2016
  7. My House - The Mental Health House / Austin Maynard Architects

My House - The Mental Health House / Austin Maynard Architects

  • 20:00 - 6 June, 2017
My House - The Mental Health House / Austin Maynard Architects
My House - The Mental Health House / Austin Maynard Architects, © Tess Kelly
© Tess Kelly

© Tess Kelly   © Tess Kelly   © Tess Kelly   © Tess Kelly   + 32

  • Architects

  • Location

  • Architect in Charge

    Austin Maynard Architects
  • Builder

    Sargant Constructions
  • Engineer

    R. Bliem Associates
  • Area

    167.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2016
© Tess Kelly
© Tess Kelly

Text description provided by the architects. Some architects are masochists. Some architects are readily self-destructive, not in a fun adventurous way, but in a boring “I’m over-worked, exploited and unfulfilled” way. As research emerges, it appears working conditions can lead to some significant mental health issues within the profession.

© Tess Kelly
© Tess Kelly

Many of the issues surrounding working conditions are detailed in the (surprisingly popular) essay I wrote: Work/Life/Work Balance published on Parlour, Archdaily and the AMA website. I didn’t make public at the time that the essay was a result of my own struggles with mental health. In many ways the essay was not just a rant about working conditions, as much as it was a catharsis.

© Tess Kelly
© Tess Kelly

“In Australia, it's estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression, and over 2 million have anxiety.” Beyond Blue 

© Tess Kelly
© Tess Kelly

It was the end of winter and I visited my doctor to discuss my increasing levels of anxiety and stress. Whilst discussing mental health, my doctor pointed out that he experiences a sharp spike in patients seeking help during the late-winter/early-spring months, maybe due to lack of sunlight and vitamin D. He asked me what my house was like. Dark, I said.

Floor Plans
Floor Plans

My-House is my home. It is also the office of Austin Maynard Architects. My family and I live upstairs, whilst Austin Maynard Architects occupies the shopfront downstairs. 

© Tess Kelly
© Tess Kelly

As part of my return to mental wellbeing I decided I would renovate my home. I would use my skill set to maximise my mental health. I was living in a dark terrace, and I decided that I didn't just want to get more light. I decided to create the complete antithesis of the original terraces spaces. I aimed to create a dichotomous home. The original terrace remains with all of its problems and charms, yet the new extension is a bright, elaborate greenhouse. The terrace has high ceilings and small windows. The extension has a clear Thermoclick roof. A large glass wall opens the kitchen/dining area out onto the sun drenched garden. There is a box in the centre of the house that has a bathroom, kitchen and a utility area for Austin Maynard Architects. Above is an open platform, full of plants, that we lounge around on.

Diagram
Diagram

My-House is an experiment that I live in. It is a home that I dare not impose on my clients. It breaks many important rules, often not in a good way. My-House lets in sunlight where a house should not. Whilst it is a very sustainable home, My-House is not as thermally efficient as the homes I design for others. Issues of privacy and personal comfort are often challenged in My-House. It is for these reasons that my family and I also love it.

© Tess Kelly
© Tess Kelly

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About this office
Austin Maynard Architects
Office
Cite: "My House - The Mental Health House / Austin Maynard Architects" 06 Jun 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/873011/my-house-the-mental-health-house-austin-maynard-architects/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Tess Kelly

My House——建筑师“自愈”的办法就是做“建筑” / Austin Maynard Architects

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