Andrew Maynard Architects: Tattoo House


[Image: Night few of the Tattoo House – a kitchen+living space addition]

I should start by saying that Andrew Maynard – with the lofty goal of ‘complete tyrannical world domination’ [sounds familiar…] – has already reached 9th dan ninja status, and I’m pretty sure he’s not even thirty [so in architecture terms, he’s basically a child]. The Aussie architect has a unique and thoughtful approach to design, and should be watched closely by all those interested in quality, green, and seemingly low-cost buildings.

Here we have the Tattoo House – an addition to an existing 3 bedroom home in Fitzroy North [A suburb of Melbourne] providing the current residents with new living and kitchen space, opening onto a new deck.


[Image: Close-up of the house’s ‘tattoo’ and the shadows it creates]

Many of the design decisions behind the Tattoo House were based on the budget, along with local building requirements – truly using the project’s restrictions to drive the design. The addition is therefore simple square – where each element serves multiple functions for ‘maximum return’. More design for your buck.


[Image: View of the kitchen – in particular the counter in the back as it becomes the landing for the stairs to the second level]

The new kitchen, located on the ground floor, is an open plan with large sliding glass panels that allow the space to be opened to the outside – merging with the deck to form an even larger interior/exterior room, which is accentuated by the double-height area created along the exterior wall.


[Image: View of kitchen/dining area’s double height space, which opens onto the deck]

Above, on the second level, a new family room overlooks the kitchen’s double height space and is given a nice level of privacy by the house’s ‘tattoo’ – UV stable stickers in the form of tree supergraphics, based on images of trees from a local park. More than a simple decoration, the tree graphic is a response to the local building council requiring that the second storey spaces be at 75% opacity. The solution screens the inside – eliminating the need for curtains, reflects heat and glare away from the expansive windows – controlling solar heat gain, and [last but definitely not least] creates an incredible play of light + shadow on the additions interior surface. Pretty siiick.


[Image: View showing kitchen opening onto exterior deck, forming a new, large open space]


[Image: View of the addition within its context]

My only negative comment about the project: who would want to spend any time in the pre-existing house? If I had a regular home, and Maynard came along and created something this beautiful as an addition – I’d have to knock the rest over and see what else he could do [yeah, that defeats the purpose – but so what?]. Also – I wonder how much it would cost to just build the addition – I don’t need that much space anyways…
Head on over to Andre Maynard Architects’ website for more images [pages 1, 2, 3, 4, sketches + info on the ‘tattoo’] and an array of noteworthy projects.

More Andrew Maynard on architecture.MNP:

Poop House

::Images courtesy of Andrew Maynard Architects – photography by Peter Bennetts::

::MNP would like to thank Cara from Andrew Maynard Architects for dropping us an email about this project::

Posted: December 10th, 2007
at 6:00am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,green arch,housing,featured ninjas

Comments: 10 comments


10 Responses to 'Andrew Maynard Architects: Tattoo House'

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  1. agreed; knock the existing house down and let the addition take over.

    Mark Anthony

    11 Dec 07 at 8:31 pm


  2. Right?!? That’s the hard part about adaptive reuse and additions on old homes – it’s a great idea, but without the proper integration there’s going to be a distinct ‘old’ and ‘new’, and one may be favored over the other – which I would think would be contrary to what you’d want in a home.


    12 Dec 07 at 1:29 am


  3. hi there. where can i get the floor plan of this tattoo house? i needed it to practice my 3D max. thank you.


    28 Jan 08 at 7:30 pm


  4. I would keep everything new and remove the older house. Keep everything new and consistant.

    Mike Larry

    28 Apr 08 at 1:31 pm


  5. I agree, keep everything new it will flow better.


    18 Jun 08 at 5:25 pm


  6. if cost wasn’t an issue, i’m sure the client would have done the same.

    this is taken from maynards site:

    “Many of the design decisions were generated by the tight budget. The form is a simple box- the strongest form an architect can achieve at a bargain basement price.

    Every element needed to perform multiple functions for maximum return- hence the kitchen bench becomes part of the stair…”

    i love how they got around the council requirements with the stencil.


    18 Jul 08 at 9:46 pm


  7. This is very cool and very interesting tattoo house.


  8. Nice site. I have added it to my favourites, greetings.


  9. This is the first time i am seeing the house in tattoos. I appreciate this.

    Star Tattoos

    8 Jun 09 at 6:12 am


  10. That is amazing, love the design… wish I could afford something like it haha

    Temporary tattoos

    15 Feb 10 at 8:22 pm



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