Many would not be aware that twin girls do very much need their own space, but at the same time, they also need to stay close, thereby the challenge presented to the architects was to design a functional and aesthetically-pleasing space that is quite literally, two-halves of the same pod.
Twins can have differences too. In this case, one is more ordered, while the other more chaotic. Where one has chosen fish for wallpaper, the other seems to prefer the jungle theme.
To cater for this dichotomy of taste and temperament, physical time apart may well be warranted, if not explicitly advised.
Which is why the finished room has two doors that slide out, and one bedroom that is divided, if only for the sake of the preservation of parental sanity.
Taking inspiration from Rudolf Steiner’s ideas for Waldorf education, the connection here was the development of harmony between the approach to teaching applied visual arts – handwork and crafts – and the approach by which the forms and spaces of the surrounding classrooms were designed and built.
The same ideals were to guide both kinds of form-creating activity, all guided by the principles of what is known as 'Organic Functionalism’.
However, should a collaboration between the twins be on the cards, or certain secrets need to be shared, desks and beds are equipped with porthole hatches, and thus are able to be opened or quickly shut as easily (and literally) as child’s play.
According to the architect, Nick James, the main material used was hardwood plywood, which they said was a “great choice due to its self-supporting strength, large sheet size, durability, warmth and texture”.
This was further complemented by other materials in similar tones including recycled messmate and corkboard. Colour and personality was added through the use of wallpaper and fabrics that were selected by the occupants.
“We designed a fully integrated piece of joinery for sleep and study that could be modified to allow the girls to either share their room, or to divide it into separate but equal spaces.,” says James.
“As the girls grow they are desiring their own space at certain times yet would still like to share a room. When divided, both halves of the room have their own entry door and window. When open, the room feels like one big shared space,” he notes.
In the middle of the bedroom there is a large timber pod, symmetrically equipped with desks, shelves, beds, pin boards, and a pair of storage slots for sleepover mattresses.
The pod stands clear of the two windows and the two-bedroom doors, ensuring the free movement of light, air and restless limbs; a ring of play space for turning tigers into butter.
And of course, to be able to cater for all eventualities, the two halves of the pod can also be undocked, allowing the twins to one day conquer their very own rooms.
From the clients: “Our girls are so pumped. The outcome is testimony to Architecture Architecture’s determination to deliver the best possible outcome. They listened to what we all needed and wrapped it up in a beautiful installation that we are really proud to have in our home.”