Ex-rental House: Site Reconfigured
New owners of a run-down ex-rental property were intent on improving the house and making a profit within two years. The house faced onto a picturesque canal in Broadbeach Waters with direct sand beach access, and had great potential for adding value. The clients were interested in a co-creation approach to the project, being participants in both design and construct aspects of the work.
Total reconfiguration of the house required our involvement in a much broader scope of work than a standard house renovation design brief. Both qualitative and quantitative research included a multi-layered assessment of current client wants, needs, preferences, experience, skills and competence, and future user expectations. The anthro-design input acknowledged market perceptions and economic parameters; however, the project was also about creating a meaningful experience for those involved in the renovation – the clients, their friends and the tradesmen they would work with.
The twenty-four month period of active client engagement was deeply transformative. The house-as-building site became a generative educational space where clients developed practical skills through apprenticeship, spot mentoring and trial-and-error methods, while also participating in ideation and improvisation sessions. The task was completed within established economic, physical and aesthetic boundaries, while enabling the clients to extend their ‘change-making’ toolkit.