One Mani house exterior facade

One Mani House is an adaptable, aesthetic and space-saving family home of the future.

The idea behind this project, for which the architects were the client, was to push the boundaries of what a family home could look and feel like. The architects also wanted to challenge the perception of architecture as elitist.

“We want to change this stigma, we want to educate … [and] we want to showcase the importance of well-designed and executed spaces,” says Mani Architecture founder Sara Tonini.

Designing for the future

One Mani House interior

One Mani House is an example of what’s possible when you make use of every square inch, according to the architects.

“We really worked the available space on this project,” says Tonini.

“What is really special is the fact that even though we were working with such a tight volume, through inclusions like the skylight over the stairs and north-facing glazing, it actually feels really spacious when you’re inside.”

One Mani House stairs

The home is also highly adaptable. Part of the house can be completely closed off and there are two separate entrances. This was a clever strategy to suit the modern family, with the potential for adult children living at home, Airbnb hosting or even two families taking up residence in the home.

Unique details

One Mani House backyard

This project is not the typical family home, as evidenced through some of its unique design features. The external facade for example, consists of layered timber shingles that create a point of difference alongside the arched doorways.

“We chose materials that were local, but also smart in terms of how they age and will wear over time, which also contributed to cost considerations,” says Tonini.

In addition to bold design elements, the architects worked with local artisans and collaborators to bring certain pieces to life. For instance, the bathroom basins were created in custom pink and black colour palettes by a local ceramicist. According to the architects, this process ensures not only original design solutions but will often result in a better outcome, all while supporting local creatives. This handmade and locally-driven approach is true to the core of Mani Architecture, with the word ‘mani’ meaning ‘hands’ in Italian.