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Blairgowrie Beach House

Category: Architecture, Interiors

A contemporary double storey beach house designed to provide flexibility of use, a focus on entertaining and spectacular views to Port Phillip Bay. Externally the building is clad in robust and low maintenance materials suitable for the harsh coastal environment. The primary ‘black box’, which is clad in black aluminium cladding, is punctuated by a white cantilevered canopy which highlights the entry. Black perforated metal and steel slat screens are strategically located to provide visual privacy and security. The L-shaped dwelling, with its entirely glazed northern facade, is deliberately configured to capture northern sunlight and bay views. Cantilevered canopies with adjustable louvres provide selective shading to living areas and create sheltered external entertaining areas on both levels. The ground floor level comprises double garage and storage, with four bedrooms and a large multi-purpose living room opening out onto a north-facing deck and pool area. The open plan first floor living areas open out onto a covered terrace area with clear views to the bay. The white, light-filled interior includes american oak flooring and staircase, porcelain tiles to wet areas, a large stained american oak sliding door to the multi-purpose living room, and a black stained timber veneer kitchen with textured black stone benchtops.

A few words from the Client –

“We just finished building our stunning architect designed beach house on the Mornington Peninsula, designed by Robert Viggiano from Meraki Creative. Robert was very collaborative and flexible during the design process, placing high attention to every detail to create a fantastic end product. He brought lots of great ideas and conducted research for custom products to meet a highly refined brief. His documentation was very detailed which resulted in a seamless transition into construction. Robert also ran a robust tender process, including clarifying details so there weren’t surprises later during construction. We love how all the concepts, design elements and finishes have come together to deliver a high quality product. We are very happy with the design process which matches the end product and would have no hesitation in using Meraki Creative for future projects”.

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Elsternwick Renovation

Category: Architecture, Interiors

The existing brick Edwardian residence was fully restored to it’s original pristine condition. A contemporary two storey addition was created comprising generous light filled living spaces with clean lines and high quality finishes.  Polished concrete creates a seamless and durable floor, while a recycled messmate timber feature wall with concealed laundry door provides a pause between the old and new sections of the dwelling. Open plan living areas were designed to provide physically separate yet visibly connected living spaces linked by a central timber veneer kitchen with long stone island bench. A stunning collection of artwork is displayed along the dining room wall and throughout the residence. Bi-folding doors open up the living spaces to a large timber deck and garden creating a strong indoor-outdoor connection.

A few words from the Client –

“We always felt Robert heard and understood our ideas while he sensitively and productively guided us through the intricacies of a detailed process. The outcome was a set of comprehensive designs detailed down to paint finishes, door furniture and cupboard configurations. These included all the engineering plans and council approvals etc required to take the project through from start to finish. We have now lived in the house for over a year and have been thoroughly thrilled with the quality of design and the detail of finish Robert encouraged us to pursue. We would thoroughly recommend Robert’s services to anyone wanting a high quality modern but classic style particularly those who are working through the design and building process for the first time as we were.”  

 

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Caulfield North Residence

Category: Architecture, Interiors

A new double fronted Victorian residence with timeless contemporary interiors replaces a dilapidated Edwardian residence on this modest 430 square metre site. Our practice was engaged to provide an assessment of the development potential of the site prior to purchase, and was subsequently engaged for full architectural and interior design services following the acquisition of the property. Our Clients were attracted to the period character of the original dwelling and their initial brief involved the restoration of the original dwelling with a two storey addition to the rear. A schematic investigation into what could be gained by demolishing the existing weatherboard dwelling yielded results which were too good to refuse. Additional useable land was gained by locating the new dwelling 1m closer to the street; the limitations of the restrictive layout of the existing dwelling were eliminated; and the significant funds which were to be allocated to the restoration became available for the new build. The result is a remarkably ‘original’ looking dwelling which recreates the true essence of the Victorian style while providing the comforts and amenities that our Clients requested.

A few words from the Client –

“Robert’s advice to build a new house that still met our brief (to maintain the victorian style we wanted) rather than renovate was visionary. The result has been a beautiful double fronted victorian home with all the comforts and “mod cons” of a new home. He did a lot of work to research and find suppliers for what we wanted for our home. He also had some great ideas to improve the functionality of our home without compromising on the design. Our builder felt that Robert worked very hard during the build, was always available for clarification, had excellent documentation and he restored his confidence in architects. Robert was very easy to work with, he had good communication skills and good knowledge. He has designed us, essentially a “bespoked couture” home. I would highly recommend his work.”

 

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Ascot Vale Residence

Category: Architecture, Interiors

A contemporary two storey residence above a 4 car garage which captures existing views to the Maribyrnong River.  The design of the residence enhances the lifestyle of the inhabitants by providing flexibility in accommodating a variety of day to day living scenarios. The residence enables a young family comprising two five year old twin girls and parents to spend quality time together in communal areas whilst the provision of separate living quarters enables isolation when required.  The living level is endowed with large panels of glass at bookends, providing a sense of openness from all areas. The palette of materials includes precast concrete, zinc, glass, limestone, marble and 2 pack joinery. Metal plate architraves, P50 shadow-lines and trimless light fittings throughout further enhance a sense of seamless quality. A central 8m long skylight showers the staircase and circulation areas with natural light.

3 Costly Mistakes People Make When Renovating or Building a New Home

Category: Architecture, Articles

 

Over the past 20 years working in the field of architecture, I have been involved on numerous residential projects of varying nature. It is both a privilege and a joy to work alongside my clients to create their dream home and to see the transformation and improvement in their day to day lives. Throughout my career I have seen many spectacular results. Yet I have also seen many examples of projects where things have gone terribly wrong. Most people only get to renovate or build a new home once in their lifetime. For this reason this process should be treated with the utmost respect and care as getting it wrong can be detrimental to one’s financial situation and lifestyle. The renovation or construction of your new home should be a life-changing experience. The optimal end result should be a home that exceeds all of your expectations – spatially, functionally, financially, and most importantly experientially. In some cases however, people have gone down the path of making rash and uninformed decisions or engaging low cost drafting services. The end result has been devastating to their finances, personal relationships and quality of life.

Of the many errors and oversights that can be made, below are the 3 most common mistakes that people make when renovating or building their new home.

 

  1. They fail to properly qualify a property for their dream home.

First and foremost, a property needs to be able to accommodate all of your spatial and functional requirements. It must enable the use that you are proposing and the proposal must physically fit on the site once all of the technical and regulatory restrictions and the adjoining properties are taken into consideration. Can the property meet all of your needs? These needs include spatial and functional requirements; energy efficiency requirements – do we have access to natural light, sunlight and a favorable orientation (preferably north); and regulatory requirements – are there any regulatory restrictions (town planning or building regulations etc) which do not permit what you are proposing to build. Proceeding without a thorough investigation of the opportunities and constraints of a property, and what is possible on the site, is dangerous and is not recommended if you value your money.

 

  1. They fail to consider their short as well as long term requirements.

By only considering their immediate requirements, many people fail to future-proof their homes both in terms of their own changing circumstances, and also for the potential sale of the property in the future. Situations can change pretty quickly.  A new unexpected arrival (more space) or the aging of it’s owners (accessibility) can dramatically change the dynamic and spatial requirements of a home and render it unsuitable for its occupants. This can be costly as the cost of further renovations, or relocating, can be quite high. To avoid this issue a home must be designed to provide flexibility of use and to accommodate all foreseeable future lifestyle scenarios that may present themselves. If the sale of the home in the medium to long term is a possibility, then the home design should also consider any special requirements that the most likely purchasers may have.

 

  1. They cut costs on professional design services and hire an “inferior” designer.

The design stage of a home or renovation is without a doubt the most important stage of a project. It is where the brief and budget are carefully established and met. It is where the aesthetics, natural lighting, energy efficiency, functional layout and spatial quality of the home are pre-determined. It is where technical and regulatory constraints are addressed and where opportunities are identified. Whilst the construction stage is often seen as the most important stage of a project, as it is where something visible and tangible is produced (and where the majority of the budget is spent), it is actually the design stage where the decisions with the most impact on the end result and end value are made. By the time the builder is involved it is often too late to correct the ship – and the builder can only build what has been designed. A registered architect with ample experience can design your home with your brief and budget in mind, and can successfully guide you through the entire process from concept design, town planning, contract documentation and contract administration through to the completion and handover of your beautiful new home.

 

The overall design and construction process is a lengthy and complex one with many obstacles and potential pitfalls along the way. It can either be a life-enhancing or life-ruining event – the choice is yours. The end result should be a home that improves your quality of life and inspires you to live better. Unfortunately, some people miss out on the joy and excitement of creating an amazing home by failing to exercise due diligence and leave it to the experts. In order to ensure the highest quality outcome and to avoid costly mistakes, a suitably qualified professional with experience in residential design, documentation and contract administration should be engaged to assist you with your new home or renovation project.

 

Create a Home You Love With Meraki.  Meraki Creative is a Melbourne based architectural practice specialising in residential architecture and interior design. We create beautiful homes that maximize space, light and enjoyment. Contact us to discuss your renovation or new home requirements.