Architecture is an industry known for its demanding hours and strenuous workloads. Often, this dynamic can lead to a strain on the family front.
Trying to strike a work-life balance becomes even more important when both husband and wife are architects. This was the case for Ray Cheung and Elisbaet Krisna from Krisna Cheung Architects. The architect couple required a space that would allow them to monitor and connect with their two children during working hours while still fulfilling the functional needs of an office environment; a workplace design that was capable of blurring the line between work and home life.
Their response was the Cubby Office, a separate two-storey timber and polycarbonate addition to their family home in north Melbourne.
“It’s a home office space,” explains Cheung. “We have two kids. They’re upstairs while we’re downstairs working. It’s a good way to keep that contact with the kids, and to monitor them too.”
The structure itself is clad with Cambia Ash timber battens on three of its façades, while the remaining façade is a polycarbonate wall.
The key design feature of the project is a 1.6mm perforated metal sheet that is used as the floor for the upper level, doubling as a play space for the children. In a design statement, this feature is described as an “element of surprise and playfulness”. It allows the parents in the office below to keep an eye on their children as they play above.
In addition to this, the floor also allows a more efficient use of lighting and energy, whether it’s the heat coming from ground floor or the cool air from the air conditioning at the upper floor.
A “secret” deck provides the family with a space to come together, and to enjoy the unobstructed views of the city.
HAZELWOOD & HILL TIMBER, CAMBIA ASH TIMBER BATTENS
AMPELITE AUSTRALIA, ‘AMPELITE WONDERGLAS’ POLYCARBONATE WALL
RAPID PERFORATING P/L, PERFORATED METAL PANELS