After a doctor’s check-up revealing that a Vitamin D deficiency was having a huge impact on his work-related stress and anxiety, Melbourne-based architect Andrew Maynard – as a co-director of Austin Maynard Architects alongside Mark Austin – decided to use his skills to design a space for a state of mental wellbeing, The Mental Health House or “My-House”.
The project consists in the renovation of a dark terrace and a shared architecture studio in the shop front space. The priority was to increase sunlight and bring bright elements in the space to enhance the natural light. Andrew describes My-House as an experiment that he lives in, “It is a home that I dare not impose on my clients. It breaks many important rules, often not in a good way. My-House lets in sunlight where a house should not. Whilst it is a very sustainable home, My-House is not as thermally efficient as the homes I design for others. Issues of privacy and personal comfort are often challenged in My-House. It is for these reasons that my family and I also love it…The extension has a clear Thermoclick roof and we sometimes wear sunglasses inside to deal with the sunlight, which is a wonderful problem to have in a Victorian terrace…”
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Photos by Tess Kelly