A couple of months ago I had a very interesting meeting with a designer called Chris Clarke. Interestingly Chris has no formal training (in architecture) but has created several amazing homes. He originally began his career commercial building and worked on large corporate multi-million dollar projects. Ultimately this had an adverse effect on his health and had to take several years off. This gave him time to reflect and was the catalyst for establishing his new company Swale Modular Homes. This flexible way of living allows buyers to make additions over the years or have several different units. With land at a premium and this could a sustainable for families in the future.

In 2017 the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) crowned Caring Wood in Kent (England) the ‘House of The Year’. Even though this residence (created by Macdonald Wright Architects) is exceptionally large it four oast towers, which cater to several generations of family. This type of flexible living is becoming exceptionally popular in Europe and another good example are the ‘Micro Cluster Cabins’ by Norwegian based company Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter.

The concept of ‘Micro Cluster Cabins’ is pretty fascinating and an exciting template for future living. In 2010 a private client commissioned Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter to design a flexible residence for the whole family. Adopting a similar to ‘Caring Wood’ Reiulf Ramstad created home comprising three separate cabins. These timber structures are pretty humble compared to Australian properties but have a certain intimacy, which is appealing.

‘Micro Cluster Cabins’ are situated in the picturesque county of Vestfold, Norway against a dramatic hill backdrop. The residences are strategically positioned around a central courtyard that gives them cohesion. I love the use of organic materials like timber and glass, internally and externally. What makes this project so successful (in my opinion) is the simplistic composition. Certainly, when I build a home I would certainly stick to these minimalistic design principles.

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