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Unique, Playful Architectural Houses

Austin Maynard Architects designs a lively and playful residential intervention in Melbourne, Australia.

Union by Austin Maynard Architects is a playful, multi-level new home, sited on a narrow 5.5 metre wide block. A couple with three energetic teenage boys asked for a robust family home they could live in ‘forever’. Union is a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom family house with a study, a basement rumpus room, a roof deck and a carport. However, that’s just the beginning of the story.

The Culture Wire Review
The Culture Wire Review
GenderMale, Female
Age BracketYoung Adults, Grown ups

Union is an example of people literally living on top of each other, and making that part of the joy of the house, rather than a problem. The house engages with the occupants in fun and dynamic ways. Despite being narrow and stacked, the home never feels cramped as spaces are designed to merge into others in various and sometimes surprising configurations. Using height, sliding walls, voids, and openings, the volume of the rooms is blurred, fluid, and flexible. A plethora of intriguing and imaginative ideas arose in a client conversation, including the playful notion of an alternate route through the house. Though filled with ideas Union is a coherent and practical family home that encompasses and responds directly to this unique client.

Union is a vertical house, with stacked spaces and voids, unified through the use of exposed Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) walls and ceilings. Carbon sequestering CLT was used to reduce time on site, minimise trades and accumulated layering within the building process. CLT offers a multitude of benefits in terms of performance and environmental sustainability. It comes from sustainably managed forests and is manufactured to exact measurements leading to very little waste and simpler construction.

References : Arch Daily

The Culture Wire Review
An inspiring project undertaken by Austin Maynard Architects is a new perspective in future of space saving architecture. With spaces decreasing everyday and needs of consumer rising such innovations lead the way. A very smart use of sliding walls and furniture has made this project stand out and create something that was believed impossible. This project works as a source of creativity to help budding architectures to build innovative projects. The sustainable and deliberative design looks forward to the issues of liveability and culture.


  • Popularity 6.0
  • Inventiveness 4.0
  • Engagement 5.0
  • Human Centricity 5.0
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