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Commonplace // McKinley Studios

Text description provided by the architects.

ESSENTIALISM“Less is more” was one of the initial core drivers of Commonplace, but the mindset shifted through the design process in realizing that there’s strength in iterations of that. “Less and better”. “Less and more thoughtful”. It was important for the design team to differentiate between minimalism, which could suggest stripping back or giving things up, verses essentialism, which is embracing life’s fundamentals.
When our current climate makes home owning a distant idea for most – forget about accessing an architect to do so – the goal of Commonplace was to distil living into an experience that makes architecture accessible to everyone.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

This exploration in building innovation brings light to the possibility of cultivating a community through universal and prefabricated architecture. Something that can be easily obtained, deployed, assembled, and personalized.APPROACH & DESIGNFounded on a balance between innovation and the fundamentals of human comfort, the Commonplace™ home is designed around natural light.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

Perfectly proportioned rooms. Generous windows to flood the home with light. Contemporary fixtures. Ample storage. Timeless design. The perfect backdrop for a beautiful life. Designed for precision fabrication and component assembly, Commonplace™ is a paradigm shift in residential design.
In the purest forms, the bungalow and the two-storey model have driven the system.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

These various configurations were determined by maximizing spatial efficiency without compromising comfort. Using the same modular approach, expansion modifications allow the home to grow with owner needs – such as the addition of a garage, rooftop patio, or a basement. The massing is conscious of the movement natural light, with the courtyard acting as a monument of luxury within the home.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

Recognizing the potential to add density to urban neighbourhoods, the initial model was developed further to adapt to different Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) zoning by-laws.FABRICATION INFO Replacing conventional wood frame stick-built construction, Commonplace’s prefabricated modular system can be installed on a small city lot or in the most remote of locations.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

Materiality was carefully curated to be natural and neutral, keeping the footprint low and allowing personalization within the palette. Cost and time efficiency was a pillar in this prototype, from engagement to construction, the Commonplace home can be finished and ready in under 4 months.COLLABORATIVE APPROACHThe internal collaboration of architecture, interiors, furniture design and branding with in the studio ensured the holistic design of Commonplace.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

Essential doesn’t mean typical, so every element was carefully studied. Alongside the built-in elements, a furniture collection was design by the study of timeless construction, with each meticulous detail speaking to the functionality of each piece. The essence of external collaborators contributed to the overall philosophy from the project finishes, such as magnetic tiling or clip-on exterior cladding, to a curated line of glassware and ceramics.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

Not all elements of this project will be expressed in every fabricated project, but the root of intention remains the same. The pandemic has made us rethink the design, functionality and emotional value of the home. Commonplace is a response to craving the Essential elements of life, of being aware of what you need and not what you want.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

At the end of this design charette, through a mix of physical and digital displays, an event was hosted to showcase renders, models, drawings as well as the furniture and homewares from the collaborators. It was to inspire and evoke conversation around conscious living being accessible to everyone and the key to a life well-lived.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

“We should surround ourselves with fewer things, but better things. This is not a constraint, it is an advantage, which allows us more space for real life” – Dieter Rams.

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

© McKinley Studios

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