Family Home With Flair Earns LYSAGHT Inspirations Student Design Award Commendation

The design of a distinct yet practical family home by mature-aged student Ethan McMartin from Skillstech TAFE, Queensland, has caught judges’ eyes in the recent Lysaght Inspirations Design Awards (LIDA), earning him a coveted commendation.

Juggling part-time study with part-time work and parenthood, Ethan made a career change five years ago, swapping the tools of a French polisher with draftsperson software, to pursue a future in building design.

With his entry he proved that it doesn’t take a multi-million dollar development or high end architectural fit-out to create a striking design, instead he achieved great results by applying sounds architectural principals and creative use of materials.

His design submission features a flexible floorplan that includes four bedrooms, an office, a theatre room, two bathrooms and a double garage along with a generous undercover alfresco dining area.

Some key design elements include a raked roofline which along with adding visual interest, increases ceiling heights throughout the home’s open-plan living spaces, as well as in the master suite.

The home’s greatest qualities though, lie in the mix of building materials that Ethan has applied, combining warm natural timbers and sections of stone-look cladding, with the precision and clean lines of Lysaght products including CUSTOM ORB® and LONGLINE 305® cladding, as well as SLATSCREEN® fencing and access gates.

“I wanted to achieve a country-style look through the use of traditional materials like timber and stone while at the same time giving the home a contemporary and modern identity by incorporating Lysaght steel products,” Ethan said.

“Living in Toowoomba it’s easy to draw inspiration from the early period properties but also, from the region’s many agricultural buildings, which widely use a corrugated steel profile.

“I’m pleased with the end result and would gladly live in this home.”

The Lysaght products have also been applied creatively to the project, installed both vertically and horizontally throughout, and combining the two complimentary COLORBOND® steel colours of MONUMENT® and WINDSPRAY®.

Roofing is exclusively corrugated CUSTOM ORB® sheeting, with the material also being extensively used on the home’s north, west and south elevations in a horizontal manner. These large sections are interspersed with flashes of LONGLINE 305® cladding, while at the front of the home (east elevation) the roles are reversed – LONGLINE 305® cladding is applied vertically and features prominently, and CUSTOM ORB® sheets acts as the highlight.

Ethan who is currently working at local design firm, StruXi Design, is on track to complete his Diploma of Building Design course at the end of this year, when he hopes to re-enter full-time employment in the industry.

“I love working in the design industry and can’t wait to further grow my career,” he said.

“I’m very thankful to StruXi Design for bringing me on board and also encouraging me to enter the Lysaght Inspirations Design Awards – the commendation will look great on my resume.

“The company is very supportive and nurturing of young talent and also offers work experience and placement straight from school, it’s great for the industry and helps develop careers.”

As well as receiving the LIDA commendation, Ethan has also recently won a Building Designers Association of Queensland Student Award.