Who is the client?
It’s me. Andrew. A local who grew up in the area, went to the nearby school and used to pick cherries during the summer holidays on the adjacent farm. I used the money I earned working at Domeney Bros to buy my first car, travel overseas and not have to work nightshifts stacking shelves at a supermarket or flipping burgers at Maccas during my time at university.
When I started thinking about 60k House I was a single guy, 31 years old, who appreciates design, enjoys sport and likes to travel. Nothing has changed, except now I’m 32. I am both the client and the designer. A couple of mates have already nicknamed 60k House ‘The Loveshack’. This might be because of my bachelor status, but also because the project is a ‘love job’ – a term used to describe a job for mates, usually done for free or cheap (I’m not getting paid to design my own house).
After returning from backpacking around Europe as an 18 year old all of my photos were of buildings – it was obvious I was most interested in architecture so I decided to study it at university. My dad was a carpenter who built our own house – I had always been around building. I also hated driving past the suburbs on our way to Hobart and thought: there must be a better way to design than all of these ugly buildings that look the same. There are more of those buildings now, even uglier, even closer together.
Who designs houses in Australia?
Before studying at university I didn’t know that only between 3-7% of all houses built each year in Australia are designed by architects. That’s around one out of every 20 houses! So who designs the rest? Building designers, builders, kit homes, developers – not architects. Our first guest contributor will discuss the benefits of engaging an architect to design your home.
Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans
I began my architecture studies at the University of Tasmania in 2002 and have been in and around the design industry ever since. During that time I have worked in tropical Queensland, sold paintball tickets on the streets of London, studied in Scandinavia, traveled to two FIFA world cups, worked full-time in Hobart, played two seasons of cricket in Europe and worked as a tour guide around Tasmania. None of this was part of any ‘grand plan’ or defined career path. I simply took opportunities as they came along to gain experiences and have fun. All the while I was still interested and involved in architecture.
In 2008 I used savings earned from picking cherries to pay for the deposit and bought a block of land from Ted – my old boss who I used to pick cherries for. Talk about keeping it local – the cherry doesn’t fall far from the tree. This is the site for 60k House.
A couple of years ago I decided to found my own practice. AKA is a collaborative network of designers focused on delivering site-specific designs responsive to people, climate and place.
Do it yourself?
This may surprise some people, but not every designer dreams of designing their own home. Designing any house is a challenge because you are dealing with people’s dreams and aspirations, and their money. Many architects engage other architects to design their own home – it’s often too close and personal. I would like to thank the various people who have offered their feedback and assistance throughout the design and construction thus far.
Disclaimer: Any advice contained within this blog is of a general nature only and cannot be relied upon. Details provided are in good faith and relate specifically to this project. Any author will not be held responsible for advice or information presented.