Building a dream house from scratch tends to come with a less than dreamy price tag. But a young family in Thornbury, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, was determined to build a dazzling contemporary home on a budget. Their partners in this challenging endeavor was the team at Bent Architecture, who worked to satisfy every item on the couple's lengthy wish list, which included three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study, an open plan kitchen/dining/living area with a concealed butler's pantry, laundry, and a garage with workshop facilities. The firm manipulated traditional construction techniques to devise a structure that would be less expensive to build and used a restrained palette of materials.
The firm also emphasized sustainability throughout the project, using the principles of passive solar design. The living spaces take advantage of the north-facing site's natural light and warmth and the concrete floors capture and release solar heat during the winter. Cross ventilation and ceiling fans provide energy-efficient cooling. The finished home is proof that with a little creativity, you can still have high-design on a pre-fab budget.