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When a Bigger House Means Adding a Whole Backyard Village

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Andrew Maynard, the Australian architect who recently completed a totally unexpected steel frame "extension" for a Melbourne-area weatherboard house, has managed to find another imaginative solution for doubling the size of an average suburban home. When tasked with extending a one-story house to bring together "community, art, and nature," Maynard took advantage of the property's large yard: instead of creating tacking on one monolithic block, he designed a series of gabled volumes that resemble a tiny village.

These new backyard structures, which stand along what's now a vegetable garden, add a kitchen, dining space, master bedroom, and a slightly submerged library. An additional two-story structure, the only one visible from the street, provides a playful studio for the clients' twin boys. According to the project website, this vertical space, equipped with a "net floor" on the upper level, defies the Australian tradition of "wide and flat" homes. And in contrast with the dark weatherboarding on the original house, all the new volumes are clad in bright wooden shingles and white ridged metal, materials that Maynard expects will "look beautiful from the sky and from Google Earth."

· Andrew Maynard's "anti-monolith" house is made up of seven small blocks [Dezeen]
· Australian House is Normcore in the Front, Party in the Back [Curbed National]