Embracing the environment to recycle, reclaim and innovate materials
Modest in dimension yet confident in attitude, a design priority for the architects was the purposeful departure from the traditional streetscape. Marimekko House is constructed from pre-rusted laser cut steel in the Marimekko Joonas pattern, which gives the house its name. The concept for the design was for an affordable all year round inside-outside existence, not just a shelter. Western Australia's reliable climate underpinned the essential ingredients of sky, wind and light necessary for the design.
The floor plan is an arrangement of public space and private retreats flanked by a number of outside areas offering separation without distance. The indoor-outdoor spaces interact to configure the U-shaped dwelling arrayed around a central courtyard. Flexibility of function is achieved from full-height peel-back walls and sliding doors to make plans for all occasions and seasons. Access inside is found through a side-gate via floating oversized steps over a garden. Entering through an oversized pivot-door to the centre of the house, the exterior of the courtyard is showcased through a long glass wall.
The defining character of the house is derived from its simplicity, functionality and attractive material alchemy. The combined textures of natural, raw and unfinished industrial materials contrast with high-tech counterpoints for an interesting organic feel. The house embraces a number of environmentally sustainable features including choice of material from recycled, repurposed, and reclaimed most often left raw and unfinished to naturally age. To minimise waste in construction, quirky aesthetic details emerged through the use of off-cuts and surplus materials, such as the innovative use of demolition salvage roofing timber for slatted privacy screens to the roof garden and as a decorative outdoors lantern to the courtyard at night.