Architectural Design Makes The Most of Location

House design takes advantage of location

House design takes advantage of location – Mt Beauty House

Where and how a building sits in the landscape is vital to its success.
A newly built house designed by Architect Andrew Fedorowicz is located on a ridge overlooking a deep valley in Victoria, looking towards a distant mountain range. The hero of this brief was that the stunning 180 degree views had to be maintained throughout the year. This is where Andrew Fedorowicz’s many years of experience in Architecture came into play.

To maximise the visual aspects of the house, service areas like the laundry and mud room are located downstairs and behind the house, fully utilizing the slope of the block and allowing the front of the house to be used for living spaces, with views spanning the horizon.

Superb views

Superb views

Andrew has selected colours and materials for the building that reflect natural materials found in the local geology, ensuring the house sits into the landscape, in sympathy with its surrounds.

Transparent roofing allows natural light into the interiors while at the same time reducing heat and glare and providing protection from inclement weather. To further reduce heat in summer yet contain the heat in winter, double glazed windows and doors have been installed.

Extensive terrace is protected

Extensive terrace is protected

The clients are well satisfied, with an outstanding house that is attractive, liveable, fits into the landscape and offers superb views year round. Watching the sunrise over the distant hills is an awesome, exciting experience that reminds one of the vastness of our world.

Balance Architecture + Interior Design continue to delight their clients with architectural designs such as this; their expertise and attention to detail create truly splendid homes.

Architects & Interior Designers Need To Get Your Brief Right!

Indoor pool area

Indoor pool area – Moonee Ponds House

When working with Architects and Interior Designers to renovate or remodel your home it’s important that the professionals you hire can get your brief right, or you may end up with a new-look house that does not fit your vision!  Andrew Fedorowicz, Architect and Amanda Richmond, Interior Designer of Balance Architecture + Interior Design have years of experience at renovations, particularly heritage buildings, so they are well versed on interpreting a client’s brief correctly.  A property in Moonee Ponds presented some interesting challenges, Andrew Fedorowicz explains how he resolved the problems presented, resulting in  very happy clients.
Challenge – social space for teenage children
The family who owned the house had teenage children who had social needs that the parents wished to accommodate within the home. They preferred their teenage children to bring their friends over to hang out, rather than seek their social activities elsewhere.
Solution – Andrew created an indoor pool (pictured above), gym and bar area with an external BBQ seating area leading off the pool space. There is a visual connection from the pool area to the existing kitchen, dining area and BBQ area.

Bar B Q area

BBQ & Alfresco Dining

Challenge – not enough car spaces
With the teenage children getting to the age where they had their own cars the family found there was not enough parking space with only a two car garage and limited off street parking.
Solution– Andrew constructed a new garage, which is long and narrow, allowing cars to jockey park with clear access on one side of the building, permitting parking movement.
Challenge – client not understanding the drawings
During the design stage of this project the client had difficulty reading and understanding the 2 D drawings presented.
Solution – 3D modelling on screen opened up the visuals for the client so they could understand the scale and orientation of the designed spaces.

Challenge – Internal swimming pool design must conform to AS safety standards – prohibited access
Solution – Self-locking door closures were installed on the doors leading into the pool. Also, a trafficable pool cover was installed by the pool company which is submerged under a perforated stainless steel plate below pool floor level. Mould is avoided by using a condenser, with a dedicated air supply vented via the plant room. Flooring materials used are smooth,non-slip, natural travertine.

Pool SS plate

Pool SS plate

Waterproofing A House When Renovating

Exposed brickwork reveals no damp proof course.

Exposed brickwork reveals no damp proof course.

When renovating, problems can sometimes be detected in the building that require addressing before the structural changes and beautification stage can begin.  One good example of this is a damp house. This is a serious problem as damp houses cause building defects, are unhealthy and can be costly to repair if the issue is not addressed promptly. Types of dampness are – Condensation/Horizontal/Falling & most commonly Rising damp.  Signs of dampness are surface stains, lifted surface finishes, efflorescence and fretting.

Award winning Architects and Designers Balance Architecture + Interior Design come across these tell-tale signs in some of the heritage houses they renovate or remodel.  The most common reason for a building to develop problems with damp is that there are changes to the conditions at the base of a wall that puts pressure on the damp proof course. An example of this would be a mortar mix that does not have enough waterproof compound mixed into it. Rising damp is where accumulating water works its way up the wall using capillary like action. The damp- proof courses that are installed during building are intended to block this action. Minor movements can cause cracking to the damp proof course, allowing water ingress and thus rising damp.

In one renovation Balance Architecture + Interior Design began work upon they discovered there was no damp proof course when the brickwork was exposed after the skirting board was removed. The accompanying picture clearly illustrates this.  To solve this problem holes were drilled into the mortar joint and a plastic syringe was installed. A product named ‘Silane-Siloane Based Impregnant’ was introduced into the syringes and left to drain slowly, saturating bricks and mortar joints. The product dries and solidifies creating an effective damp proof course.

For more information see SAA Masonry Code. AS3700. Balance Architecture + Interior Design call on damp proof experts Tech-Dry to help when faced with damp houses.