Rising home prices and housing shortages around the world are inspiring more unconventional housing arrangements. This playful building, Brickface, is one particularly well-executed example in Melbourne, Australia. Built by the parents of a millennial daughter in need of housing, the building replaced the family’s old garage with a taller structure featuring a studio apartment on the second floor and a roof deck above.
Designed by local firm Austin Maynard Architects—known for clever extensions and covetable modern homes—the studio has an exterior made of red recycled brick, punctuated by a pattern of brightly colored red and blue bricks on the house-facing one side. Circular windows and a curved cut-out in the roofline add visual interest from the laneway.
The studio living space is on the second floor, accessed by an interior stair. Painted bright blue, the open-plan space room for bed and a dining area, a separate bathroom, and not much else.
“Melbourne’s property market is so inflated, that we’re now seeing a generation that are not only unable to buy a home, but also struggling to find affordable places to rent close to their work, school and community,” the architects write.
“Melbourne does have one trick up its sleeve that many parents are increasingly exploring. Melbourne is strewn with under-utilised laneways and many home owners are creating a second residence in their backyard with frontage to the laneway, where their adult children can live during university and early employment.”