The Haveli
East Malvern, Melbourne, Australia

The Haveli will house a three-generational family from India, adopting an existing site in East Malvern, an inner Melbourne suburb. The design approach is holistic to the families perceived evolving lifestyle with a new building, retrofit of an existing building and the introduction of an indigenous, bio-diverse landscape.

The Haveli accommodates both living and working spaces with the concept of working from home rather than commuting and temporarily filling separate, carbon generating office space.

Two small dwellings are proposed. The front, existing weatherboard house will be retrofitted internally to incorporate flexible interconnected living, sleeping and working zones – sliding walls are easily removed to open and or close spaces as required. These spaces will be developed for the older generation and short and long term family guests.

The younger generations of the family will be accommodated at the rear of the site in a new dwelling that is accessed via a central ‘communal’ courtyard. The lower level of the dwelling comprise open plan living, entertaining and working zones, highlighted with a feature ‘boomerang’ teppanyaki style kitchen, offering a dining space that integrates a social space for cooking and eating. A glazed large sitting area, with modular furniture protrudes into the northern central courtyard, dissolving the outdoor/ indoor living boundary. Adjacent bedroom wings are proposed to be interchangeable for studies and or larger sitting zones by operable concertina doors.

A central pentagon-shaped staircase, with skylight leads to the upper level. Designed to passively move thermal hot and cold air whilst allowing natural light to radiate through both levels. The upper level accommodates flexible sleeping and reading zones, with a dual bathroom incorporating a communal pentagon ‘jewel’ bathtub. A balcony is accessed from the bedrooms and staircase, offering an enclosed and private outdoor area bathed in northern light.

The design’s tapering circular form, with timber-shingled façade softens the proposed rear dwelling’s mass within the green corridor of suburban backyards so contributing to urban land consolidation in a sensitive manner and ultimately population densification.

The form and plan also draw upon the future residents’ Indian heritage. The word ‘Haveli’ is derived from the Indian meaning of ‘an enclosed space’, referring to homes with a central family community courtyard. The courtyard thus becomes a communal outdoor living space for all the members of the family to congregate. The rear buildings symmetrical proportions and jewel-inspired pentagon motifs also refer to exterior and interior atmospheres of Indian temple sacredness. The home will integrate a culturally ‘transitory’ architectural language, offering the future residents an environment with subliminal cultural references.

Collectively this future Australian home, The Haveli offers an integrated framework of flexible indoor and outdoor lifestyle spaces in addition to intelligent systems suitable for a growing, working, living and entertaining any new Australian family.

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