Questions and Answers
Where do you start when planning your designs?
At Zarq we often start with the big picture in mind. We have created a habit of asking ourselves what experience are we trying to create for the occupant? We tackle everything from how you want to feel when entering a space to how you move through zones of the home. The journey through should be enjoyable. Unfortunately, it is quite often the opposite and monotonous. We spend a lot of time refining our plans to be as efficient as possible. Making sure every square metre is working as hard as it can to minimise wasted space and circulation. It is important to add value where it counts.
Why is customisation important for buyers? How have you applied it in your designs?
Customisation provides the opportunity for buyers to personalise their own home and gives a greater sense of identity. As an architect our work is often the
case of producing a home that meets the needs and expectations of that particular client. It is rare that any of our work has resemblance because in reality, everyone is different and desires different things.
At East and Co. a similar approach is used where each dwelling is designed and developed in such a way that allows flexibility. For example, within each living area we have adopted simple things like built-in cabinetry that can serve multiple purposes; have it be storage, a place to read a book or an extension of your dining space.
Your precinct faces west, how has this influenced your design approach?
The orientation of this precinct is one of many parametres that have shaped the architecture. Due to its west-facing nature we initially explored depth and shadow as a means of protecting bedrooms and living areas from the harsh afternoon sunlight. Deep reveals to the first floor work well to frame views around the tall gums whilst also playing a functional part in shading the glazing. Similarly, entry points to the townhouses are setback from the front elevation providing a sense of depth and clear entry point.
What rules have you broken to make your designs truly unique and contemporary?
We haven’t broken the rules, more so reconceptualised conventional living. At Zarq we have placed an emphasis on certain aspects of the home to deliver a uniqueness. At the early design stages of the project we questioned why staircases are often the most neglected parts of a home. It has always served as function over form and with no other purpose than vertical circulation. In our concepting phase, we broke the home down into a kit-of-parts where we could explore components such as the stair in more depth. What other purpose can it play? In some cases, we have integrated the stair with the kitchen cabinetry or utilised it for additional storage.
How much is the local area lifestyle incorporated into your design thinking?
The urban fabric inherent within East Victoria Park has strongly influenced the palette among the Laneway West precinct. The makeup of East Victoria Park is truly utilitarian. We took the honest and robust qualities of the local fabric and incorporated elements of this within the makeup of the townhouses, albeit with a more contemporary approach. The design of the Laneway West precinct takes a nod to its context.
East and Co. is a true collaboration between top architects and designers. How do you think the product has been elevated as a result?
As architects and designers what we have set out to do is deliver quality outcomes both as a group and individually. East and Co. is founded through collaboration and the injection of unique ideas. Similar to East Victoria Park, East and Co. is a combination of all things complimentary yet unique in its own way.