Lead Architects: Warwick Mihaly, Erica Slocombe, Jake Taylor
Builder : Little Constructions
Stylist: Pip + Coop
Land Surveyor : Dickson Hearn
Structural Engineer: ZS Consulting
Text description provided by the architects. Joyful House is a fun and brightly coloured addition to a weatherboard worker’s cottage on the outskirts of Geelong.
With the arrival of their third child, our clients asked us to open the rear of their house to provide a variety of light-filled spaces for their energetic young family. Our intervention retains original bedrooms, adding new services and a multifunctional living room that opens onto the generous back garden. The addition contrasts in colour and form to the original cottage and surrounding streetscape, a black-clad counterpoint to white weatherboard.
The roof structure, ceiling and upper walls of the living room are dipped in Dulux Joyful. Careful window placement helps this bright yellow canopy bounce sunlight into every nook and cranny. A translucent fibreglass roof over the deck helps pour in even more daylight, and feels like an outdoor extension to the living room. The steeply sloping roof gives height to the living functions downstairs and makes room for a cheeky mezzanine retreat above.
We took extra care in selecting materials that will weather the storm of growing children: hardwood timber floors, plywood joinery and sisal carpet are warm to touch and bounce back well from wrestling matches and art days. Circular cutouts in cupboard doors are perfect for small hands and inquiring minds.
Our clients’ ambitions for Joyful House were substantial, but their budget wasn’t. We collaborated closely with the builder, Little Constructions, and a range of local craftsmen to keep a lid on costs. During the design and documentation process, we met regularly to keep economy and luxury in balance. We used standard construction processes and humble materials throughout the house, but worked hard to have them punch above their weight. The result is a beautiful, welcoming and vibrant house that cost very little to build.