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THE BIG LITTLE HOUSE: SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED

THE BIG LITTLE HOUSE: SMALL BUT PERFECTLY FORMED

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ARCHITECT NIC OWEN is something of an expert at squeezing the very best out of small and tight inner city blocks. Indeed the “Tardis qualities” of his latest design, quips Owen, “would impress Dr Who fans”.

Created for a young family, his latest two-storey renovation in inner city Melbourne has managed to pack four bedrooms, a study and two bathrooms on a 140 sq metre site – yet still respect the amenity of its neighbours and any historic concerns (“it really is a secret project,” says Owen, “with no new works evident from the street.”)

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The fundamental message of the house is that a compact home can feel luxurious and generous. How? Clever design can make small spaces feel bigger than they really are. The trick is to fill the home with natural light, plenty of joinery to store everything and make sure clutter is kept to a minimum, have high vaulted ceilings and cleverly interlock the spaces so that they “borrow” from each other and the wider outdoors.

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“The project was a great opportunity to explore the ideas of creating stimulating workable spaces in a very tight envelope,” adds Owen. “I enjoyed challenging the perception of a typical family house and was inspired by the Japanese architectural idea of ‘borrowed landscapes and views’ to enhance the feeling of space.”

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“I enjoyed challenging the perception of a typical family house and was inspired by the Japanese architectural idea of ‘borrowed landscapes and views’ to enhance the feeling of space.”

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www.nicowenarchitects.com.au

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ALEX DUPONT

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CHRISTINE FRANCIS

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