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Behind the Design

21 March 2019

display home design years in the making

At Martin Locke Homes we believe in giving credit where credit's due, and the truth is we can't take all of it for our beautiful new 'Family 310' display home at Elliot Springs.

We understand that without great design, we wouldn't achieve our fantastic results on site. 

So credit must also go to our expert design partner for this project, Andrew Carter.

About Andrew

Andrew has been in the design industry for over 25 years, most of that time working as a sole practitioner. Early in his career he worked mainly with a select group of quality builders around Townsville who preferred to build custom-designed homes for their clients. He has been invited onto industry judging panels and represented the NQ region at a national judging summit in Sydney where he was exposed to a wide variety of building styles, materials and forms that are used across Australia's varying climatic conditions.

These days he operates as Utile Designs and works mainly on commercial projects from healthcare, professional offices, hotels, hospitality and multi-residential developments.

we asked andrew a few questions about how the family 310 design came to be:
Why did you chose to work on this particular residential project?

I've known Martin for a number of years and have always admired his willingness to lead the housing industry in new directions and standards. He first mentioned to me in 2017 that he was considering making his next display home a multi-generational dwelling & asked if I was interested in being part of it.

At first I actually said 'No' as I didn't intend to get back into the residential market, but I recalled many years prior I'd put some ideas down on paper about this very concept so I searched back through my archives to find them.

That Christmas, my family and I spent time on Magnetic Island and it was then that I had time to sit on the beach with a sketchpad and freely put down as many ideas as I could over a week or so. When I returned to work and presented the concept to Martin he loved it and so began the journey to where it is today!

What is special about this design?  

There are two key elements of this house that really set it apart from similar living concepts:

1 - The balance between autonomy and cohesiveness. Bringing two families together under one roof can create the obvious challenges of living harmoniously yet at the same time needing space to retreat to your own personal space. The design allows for that seamlessly, all the while, linking the two zones via a common space being the laundry.

2 - The other difference and one that is not visually evident when you walk through the space is that it has been designed to be a smaller adaptable home that can be built onto as family situations change. With minor modifications, parts of the basic home can be converted to the smaller self-contained living zone, then extending off the back of the house to create the final product that you see built.

Do you think the final design was benefited by Martin's involvement, particularly his passion for accessible design?

Martin Locke Homes have been promoting the benefits of accessible housing for some time now which shows a real dedication to the industry.

As designers we also have a moral obligation to produce living spaces that are not only comfortable but can also adapt to changes in living arrangements with minimum financial burden.

Why do you think Multigenerational homes are becoming such an attractive option?

Not only do we have an ageing population but the cost of living is always increasing, so it makes sense to re-think our most valuable investment.

The longer we stay in our own homes the more we get out of them in my opinion.

How would you describe the final product? Has the build turned out the way you envisaged?


It's always a surreal feeling when you get to walk through a building that began as a thought in your mind...... not to mention the MLH construction crew all have the same pride in workmanship that Martin does so the attention to detail is really of the highest quality.


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