A recent visit to Perth saw me strolling through the very generous light filled hallways of The Poll House. Designed by Gary Marinko the residence is a series of introverted living containers around a smaller courtyard. The central courtyard invites sun into the heart of the building while dividing bedrooms and living areas.
The owners had the house designed and built for them 13 years ago, the second home that Marinko has created for them. Chatting with them there were anecdotes about what they were ‘told’ they would be getting in terms of materials and finishes. I got the sense that the final form of the house was not entirely clear to them before they saw the finished product.
At face value this design process and the result appears to counter much of what I hold dear about our profession – efficient functional designs, clearly communicated in collaboration with the client. Notwithstanding, the owners clearly delighted in the novelty of the completed home and the notoriety it has in the community. Several books featuring the home were on display, tagged at the appropriate pages.
In choosing the ‘tailor made’ rather than ‘off the shelf’, our clients desire something more than the ordinary, a home that not only reflects their personality but inspires them each day they occupy their home. Meeting this expectation is one the rewarding challenges of our profession.
A delicate balance exists between the needs of the client and the imagination of the architect.