Inside-Out Down Under
Australians are masters at shaping contemporary settings for casual indoor-outdoor living. In Melbourne a few months ago this realization struck me anew when I met architect Leon Meyer, whose practice specializes in residential work. His marvelous Linacre Plan 496-1 – which is our newest exclusive design — turns a compact linear layout for a narrow site into world of spaciousness and light.
See how the window wall folds away, effectively joining interior and exterior spaces. The deck becomes a true outdoor living room.
Now that’s where I would like to be — sipping a frosty mojito at the table overlooking the pool. Meyer ‘s skill at weaving together space and structure is especially clear in this image of the family room
showing how the dark raised hearth and floorboards appear to extend into the decking: the stripe as a figurative bridge.
It reminds me of the famous Southern California architect John Lautner, who with his project architect Vaughn Trammell used a black stripe — running from the sidewalk on one side of the house to a balcony on the other — as a way to draw an arrow toward the view (photo at left courtesy Vaughn Trammell Architect).
This photograph of the Linacre design shows the casual dining area between the kitchen and the deck.
Meyer’s plan is long and relatively narrow and opens mostly along one side of the house.
The garage tucks under the front facade to the left of the front door. The plan is essentially the plan of the lot, which is the only real way to design a house in my opinion…Beware: Random Rant Alert!…I think that wherever possible and practical, a room should always know what’s going on outside it — otherwise you are living in a vacuum.
See how the family room and the kitchen/informal meals area open to the outdoors.
A particularly efficient feature is the sink and built-in desk beside the WC on the way to the laundry from the dining room. It can double as a butler’s pantry. Upstairs the floor plan is equally skillful.
There’s a walk-through — not walk-in — or is that walkabout! — closet off the master bedroom on the way to the master bathroom, which allows easy and independent access to both areas. You can even reach the master bathroom from the hall. Off the three other bedrooms is a generous activity area/playroom that opens to a balcony. Built-in desks add efficiency.
In short, this is a masterful design and I hope you enjoy exploring it further. We’ll have more Meyer plans up shortly. Meanwhile, meet the man himself,
who is sitting outside, of course! Welcome aboard, Leon (photo by Lucy Diamond Joyce).