Architecture

Lean, green and easy to clean: Mills, the toy management house

Lean, green and easy to clean:...
The recently-completed home is located in Melbourne, Australia
The recently-completed home is located in Melbourne, Australia
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The project involved the extension of a typical Melbourne terrace
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The project involved the extension of a typical Melbourne terrace
The rear of the home sports a white perforated metal facade to filter the sun's glare
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The rear of the home sports a white perforated metal facade to filter the sun's glare
The recently-completed home is located in Melbourne, Australia
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The recently-completed home is located in Melbourne, Australia
The firm added an extension comprising two bedrooms, a bathroom, an open kitchen, and living and dining areas
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The firm added an extension comprising two bedrooms, a bathroom, an open kitchen, and living and dining areas
As with the firm's previous designs, the lines between inside and outside have been blurred
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As with the firm's previous designs, the lines between inside and outside have been blurred
Austin Maynard Architects sought to maximize natural light and air circulation
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Austin Maynard Architects sought to maximize natural light and air circulation
The raised floor is the most interesting feature of the home
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The raised floor is the most interesting feature of the home
Austin Maynard Architects made its own bath (in bright yellow) using fiberglass that sports no seams
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Austin Maynard Architects made its own bath (in bright yellow) using fiberglass that sports no seams
The raised floor/storage is the most interesting feature of the home
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The raised floor/storage is the most interesting feature of the home
The extension created an additional floor to the formerly single-story home
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The extension created an additional floor to the formerly single-story home
As with the firm's previous designs, the lines between inside and outside have been blurred
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As with the firm's previous designs, the lines between inside and outside have been blurred
A large rainwater collection system collects rainwater for use as irrigation and flushing toilets
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A large rainwater collection system collects rainwater for use as irrigation and flushing toilets
High-performance insulation was added throughout
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High-performance insulation was added throughout
The house is a kid's paradise
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The house is a kid's paradise
Upstairs, a section of the master bedroom slides to increase available space by opening it up to the corridor
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Upstairs, a section of the master bedroom slides to increase available space by opening it up to the corridor
The child's bedroom features a desk that doubles as seating and forms part of the shelving/steps up to the bed
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The child's bedroom features a desk that doubles as seating and forms part of the shelving/steps up to the bed
An unusually tidy kid's bedroom
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An unusually tidy kid's bedroom
Austin Maynard Architects made its own bath (in bright yellow) using fiberglass that sports no seams
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Austin Maynard Architects made its own bath (in bright yellow) using fiberglass that sports no seams
External shot of the bathroom
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External shot of the bathroom
"The kitchen at Mills occupies the original corridor space," explains the firm
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"The kitchen at Mills occupies the original corridor space," explains the firm
The storage space in the raised floor
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The storage space in the raised floor
"Let's get a broom and sweep all the lego in from the top and sides," says the firm
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"Let's get a broom and sweep all the lego in from the top and sides," says the firm
The storage area also works as seating for adults
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The storage area also works as seating for adults
The storage area also doubles as a crawl space
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The storage area also doubles as a crawl space
More traditional seating is arranged next to the raised floor
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More traditional seating is arranged next to the raised floor
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Australia's Austin Maynard Architects (formerly Andrew Maynard Architects) regularly designs some of the most interesting and quirky homes around. Its latest project, dubbed Mills, the toy management house, is no exception, and involves an extension to a Melbourne terrace that adds storage space, sustainable features, and a strong sense of fun.

The raised floor/toy storage area is the most notable interior feature and serves as a place to store toys and a comfortable area for grownups to sit.

"At Mills we have made gravity the parents' ally rather than the child's by enabling the floor to swallow all the mess," explains Austin Maynard Architects. "Rather than picking toys up to put back in the toy box, we've made the floor one big toy box. Let's get a broom and sweep all the Lego in from the top and sides."

"Let's get a broom and sweep all the lego in from the top and sides," says the firm
"Let's get a broom and sweep all the lego in from the top and sides," says the firm

Upstairs, the master bedroom features a sliding wall that opens to the corridor to increase space, while the bathroom (which features a custom fiberglass bath designed by the firm) sports large windows to make it feel more spacious.

Moving downstairs, some areas blur the line between inside and outside – though not to the extent of the Cut Paw Paw House – and the corridor has been removed in favor of a kitchen.

"The kitchen at Mills occupies the original corridor space," explains the firm. "Therefore the substantial space the kitchen would have occupied in a typical location has been used as living space."

The house received a green makeover, too. Austin Maynard Architects sought to maximize available natural light and air, while reducing heat sink and heat transfer internally. The front of the home looks like a typical terraced house, but the rear sports a white perforated metal facade that filters the sun's glare.

A large rainwater collection system feeds irrigation and toilets, and high-performance insulation was also installed. In addition, the roof sports a solar panel array that reduces grid-based electricity requirements.

Source: Austin Maynard Architects

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