Mash House - Viridian

Mash House - Viridian

EnergyEnergy PMS 383 Noise PMS 3015Viridianuses product igonogrpahy todifferentiate the uses and properties of glass.Our icons convey information in a simple anddirect way.The product icons have a graphic relationshipto the core sandpiper icon.Do not create new icons without prior approval.PROJECTMash HouseARCHITECTAndrew Maynard ArchitectsDESIGN TEAMAndrew Maynard and Mark AustinENGINEERStructural PMS 431R.Bliem & Associates P/LSecure PMS 464WINDOW FRAMINGAustral MonsoonGLAZIERZ&I Pelaic P/LPRINCIPAL GLASS PROVIDERViridianPRINCIPAL GLAZINGViridian VFloat Clear 6.8mm double glazedStorm PMS Cool Grey 7 Knowledge centre PMS 355Viridian ThermoTech 12mm argon filledglazing/Thermoplastic SpacerWindows and doors range from 700mm to2040mm wide by 2000mm in height for mostapplications. Steel framed windows and doors.Aluminium framed windows (black anodised).GROSS FLOOR AREA85m 2 (new works), 67m 2 (works to existing).BUDGET$550,000SLIDING WALLSText – Peter HyattPhotography – Kevin HuiMelbourne architect Andrew Maynard was a finalist in Viridian’s 2011Vision Award for Residential Energy Efficiency. Plugged to the rear ofan inner-city bungalow, the Mash House winks at the recent past yetappears ultra modern.Maynard’s work is enough to make Austin Powers shriek ‘Groovy Baby’. Super transparency,vibrant colours, organic forms and shagpile carpet are all part of the design equation.Fragmented, discrete zones allow the Mash house to effortlessly open or close down.Organic yet rigorous, the new rejects the bleached, spiritless, Miesian box. Colour and lightare central to this assembly of dynamic living spaces. Viridian double glazed units are akey to removing the usual barriers between inside and out.VISION – Sliding

Andrew Maynard speaks with Vision editorPeter Hyatt about his high performanceglass sculpture for living.Your design is modern, yet it’s not difficultto imagine a certain retro film star quite athome here.We have shagpile carpet cut into therecessed concrete floor so I suppose I pleadguilty as charged.What were the biggest obstacles andchallenges?I say to my clients at the sketch phase:‘This is the fun time. Let’s not pretend thatit’s always going to be like this’. There areinevitably tough times but at the endit’s worth the effort. The biggest test wascoaching an enthusiastic builder throughthe process of working quite differently fromstandard practice.What about competence and confidence?They go hand in hand for an architect don’tthey?You’re very confident in front of a clientbut you’re also hoping this works out as youwant it to. It wasn’t until we sat down in thepavilion and slid the walls away and thekids were running through the spaces thatyou realise that you got it right. That was theclients’ view too by the way.It proves once again that creatively there isan element of going out on a limb; that itisn’t just a case of ticking all of the boxesto achieve the more intangible marvellousspace.Exactly. Ticking of the boxes is how you endup with beige. I’m very lucky that clients puttheir trust in me. The curved kitchen benchfor instance was a creative risk. In this casethe husband works in catering and so hewas prepared to break away from thestandard issue pragmatic workplace. Heembraced the opportunity of curved workspaces and this was a part of that journeyof discovery.It’s light filled yet very light responsive.Australians are very privileged becauseof our amazing light. You can play withthat with screens for instance but herethe negative space and shade has beencarved out. That was my preference toloading it up with timber screens. Recessedglazing and roller blinds close off and shadespaces as needed.It appears a very assured glazing program.Quite different to what already exists on site.It’s a response to the existing bungalow stylehouse with double hung sash windows andquite dark internal spaces. The new livingspaces are much more like the CaliforniaCase Study Houses of the 1950s. I wantedto just do the roofed living space and theglass allows the outdoor spaces just to floatthrough.The glass passageway is reprised from yourearlier work such as the Vader House. It’sa circulation zone where you could feelexposed to the elements, but ultimately it’sa celebration of the site.It’s interesting because as people walkdown the corridor they can see throughto the loungeroom or dining area. I’veseen people negotiate that passagewaythinking they’re in this docile axis and thenthere’s suddenly a small tree at the end or apiece of glass and they have to reorientatethemselves. I’ve been there a couple oftimes seeing people do that and it’s quitetheatrical and lovely seeing the complexityof that planning.It’s an intriguing name. How did you settleon the Mash House? It’s reminiscent of thelandmark television series. Was that theinfluence; that it reflected an architect’swar-zone?I’ve always liked subversive characters andHawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) played thatrole in Mash, but I just liked the name.VISION – Sliding

On the subject, do you think an architectneeds to be subversive like Pierce and tobreak rules from time to time?Absolutely. That’s where the opportunitiesbegin to reveal themselves and you discoverdifferent solutions.There’s a playful, whimsical hand at workthat suggests you enjoyed the seriousprocess of design.That’s right. When I start a design it’s avery rigorous process. The fact behind theplayfulness is a planning regime in the MashHouse that converts the outside greenspace to create living areas with passivesolar gain. You don’t have to do either/or.You can experience both of those benefits.It appears pretty site specific and exclusiveto place and yet there is plenty about thisthat would apply to many other residentialapplications.The design basically addresses issues thatare consistent in many other projects. Wepush that concept even harder here, wherewe pull the new further away from the oldto capture green space. The principles aredefinitely the transportable idea.What are some of the key things you’velearned since setting out as a youngerarchitect that are revealing themselves toyou now?I’m still learning. I’m still intimidated whenpeople get ahead of me, but you’re right inVISION – Sliding

that I’m acquiring a vocabulary. Respondingto and revealing the brief is crucial. In theclients’ mind they are making differentrooms and that can be problematic.Different functions don’t necessarily requiretheir own separate space. When you beginto overlay those functions you can createfar more dynamic and rich spaces.What are some of the benefits?You can economise, streamline space andachieve a smaller design. Australian housesare now bigger on average than thoseof the United States. We’ve become thebiggest in the world and on top of that, 60per cent of our population is overweight. It’sas if we want to take on North America inthis game of indulgence and decadence.Not only do I believe this idea of multiplefunctions and overlap creates better space,it combats that idea of excess. Too muchspace can dislocate the potential for reallyinteresting family space.This project makes that transition from insideto out appear quite effortless.I’m fortunate to attract sophisticated clientsbut not everyone is well versed in design sothey may not understand the potential andbenefits of doing more from less. Our climateand culture craves an outdoor connectionyet the newer super-sized houses simplypenalise occupants. If you have somethingsmall and spend a lot of time on the edgeconditions it can be tailored to be a veryeasy to use outdoor space. In the MashHouse you simply slide walls away and itbecomes a pavilion. This blurs the boundarybetween inside and out.Is the design process linear or somethingmore unpredictable or accidental?It’s not linear for me. I always call it ‘grinding’.If my work is any good it’s because I’vedone about 10 designs that are largelyrubbish. Like anyone else I go through thestock standard response where I do a lotof very quick drawing and a lot of it’s awful.I’ll have a lot of ideas that seem unrelatedand when I start to marry those that’s whenthe design begins to work. When it comes topresenting the ideas to clients that’s when itstarts to be put into a linear process so thatthey understand the process.Well that’s the opposite of the cookie-cutter.One of the worst things architects can do forthemselves is to make what they do appeareasy. People can misunderstand design as ifit’s the simplest thing in the world.What was your staring point here - the keythat unlocked the design for you?It was to capture the green space. My clientsloved the existing house but they didn’twant an extension that was too masculineor ‘heavy’. They were very accepting of asofter, lighter, friendlier set of spaces.There’s a big ask for ingenuity. Does it haveto be expensive.I’m still waiting for that client with the bigcheque-book who says ‘just go for it’.Budget is really important. Firstly the designhas to be pragmatic in terms of costing.Secondly there is a very strong ethical issuearound budget. We can design a brandnew 7-star house and demolish everythingelse, but using that capital with so muchembodied is something we have to be veryresponsible with. I’d rather see somethingmuch more modest with less green ‘trickery’simply because you haven’t had to payback the carbon debt.VISION – Sliding

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