house design help for riverfront block

April 6, 2017
I have posted two concept designs that are almost identical except for the main living area.
Option 1 is thr kitchen around the corner
Option 2 is the kitchen parallel to the so fresco

We also want to fit a 2nd living area in somehow.

Our block is 18m wide and 46 deep, across a small road is the river.

I'm keen to get advice on:

1) living area layout options - what's preferred

2) any other suggestions

Comments (13)

  • oklouise

    please post preferred sizes for the rooms and a wish list of options and i will prepare a scaled plan for you to compare the two designs more easily

  • RIA AY
    thanks ok Louise.

    We want a solar passive design that maximises views of the river from main living area.
    4x2.5 house with two living areas.
    max site coverage is 50%.
    block is 855m2 with 18m width, fairly straight. block is flat and not prone to flooding
    rule is average 6m back from road but we are planning to request special dispensation from the council to allow us to build closer.

    Sizes are:
    Master bed with ensuite and wir. bed size 4x4.5

    other beds 3x3.5 (4th bed can be slightly smaller)

    one freestanding bath in house - in master or main.

    6x6.5m garage with ability to drive a car to the rear. flexible on placement of garage ( front/rear/underground - latter is concern due to being next to river and cost implications)

    living dining area min total 65m + kitchen.
    kitchen to have benchtop to seat 4 as breakfast bar
    2nd living area (25m2)

    front and rear al fresco approx 30m2 each

    pool prefer 8x4 but can go smaller

    ability to view pool from kitchen.

    We would also like a scullery and decent pantry and storage space. No real preference for walk in over regular if it gives us more for less floorspace
  • RIA AY
    oh and a small study if possible.
  • Ed Ed

    Sounds like a wonderful block you have! All the best with the build. Something like this could work:

  • siriuskey

    EdEd that's a great design very mid century looking, I can imagine the bedrooms having glass walls facing the pool with curtains/shutters to pull across/close for privacy , the kitchen dining living reminds me of the display house "toorak" that Briar checked out and posted about. Your plan gives maximum outlook to the river and the pool is viewed from just about everywhere.

  • oklouise

    what is the purpose of the drive through to the backyard, can the drive through be on the same side as the pool and with car access to the backyard could the garages be at the rear of the block and master suite overlooking the view??

  • RIA AY
    thanks EdEd great idea to put the house as more of a wrap around.

    oklouise, we were thinking to put a shed in the back for storage and possibly a small boat or trailer. we have drive through at our current place and use it to store the trailer securely instead of leaving it out the front
  • oklouise

    based on your draft and wish list this plan includes all the options listed, under 300sqm + 60sqm front deck and alfresco, 8m x 4m pool in an enclosed courtyard, study/guest room with ens and a mini study in the master bedroom, 32m x 16m building envelope allowing 6m front setback and 10m and sliding doors should be added to suit outlook and concrete slab on ground, with suitable insulation and shading should make a great solar passive home

    nb adding the guest room created enough space for the pool, courtyard and alfresco and removing would require a complete rethink!!

  • siriuskey

    Hi Briar, Unless you can put the garage underground I wouldn't give up the river view to it, we also keep trailers etc out the back, you have checked water levels in your area?

  • C P
    Briar you should listen to the latest season of the Undercover Architect's blog as she has great ideas about designing the flow of rooms.
  • PRO
    Undercover Architect

    Thanks for the shout-out C P ! Appreciate it. Yes Briar, there's a lot in the first two seasons of the podcast to help with designing for this orientation, and to learn how to get rooms to be arranged and connected. A new episode goes live every Tuesday morning.

    You can check it out here ...

    Best wishes!

    - Amelia, UA

  • RIA AY
    thanks everyone. oklouise, plans look fantastic!

    After some serious evaluation and looking how much garden would be left at the back with all the bedrooms downstairs (and wanting to put an 8x4 shed at the back) we are almost concluding that we need to put some stuff upstairs to maximise the block. Initially we thought about just one room but it seems the setup costs to get up there (approx 60k we've been told) make us think we may as well put more up there and maximise the size of the block to allow us to have a garden and veggie patches, trees, chicken coop etc.

    I was concerned if we gave the kids their own space upstairs we would never see them, but I think in reality putting the second living area upstairs with 2 bed and a bathroom is probably going to extend the life of the house and appeal to more if we do well it later.. .
    I also read a few chapters of a book from the 1970s architect talking about the optimum design for small families suggesting that there should be 3 non bedroom areas; one for children, one for adults (to not be parents) and a common area for both, which resonated with me - can't recall the name of the book.

    We spoke with a engineer 're the excavation for garage and they estimated 60k, and I think I'd prefer to build up in that case.
    not sure if I would bother with a balcony though as it would push us to to 3 outdoor areas, but may really improve the facade with a balcony...

    listened to those podcasts from the undercover architect - absolutely fantastic. so much food for thought. Now realise how lucky we are to have the view north.
  • siriuskey

    Many years ago I was told that you would need 3 houses over your lifetime, newly weds, family,retirement, I guess if you work your house so that you don't have to climb stairs in your older years you would get by, as long as you can afford to keep the family home in retirement