SBS language | Australians embrace multigenerational life, Asian-inspired home design wins 2021 House of the Year

For almost two years, Precious Aquino’s mother, Arlyn Lamigo, has lived with her in the Brisbane rental home she shares with her husband Jeff and their six children. Ms Lamigo has not been able to return to the Philippines since arriving in mid-2019 for a visit.

She has visited family regularly since they moved to Brisbane in 2012. Although their current situation is a consequence of COVID, they all lived together in the Philippines before moving to Australia. What is called multigenerational living is a common practice in most Asian households.

“We have lived [together] in my parents’ house [in the Philippines]. Yeah, so it’s nothing new, ”Ms. Aquino told SBS Filipino. Looking ahead, it seems unlikely that their situation will change as the Philippines remains on high alert with around 10,000 new COVID cases recorded daily and severely restricted flights.

The Aquino family celebrates with mom, Arlyn Lamigo

Aquino family

“We are very grateful that she is here. For me, it’s less worrying. I know like many of my friends here, they continue to worry about their parents in the Philippines with the pandemic, ”the 41-year-old mother added.

Precious and Jeff, both trained chefs, chose their current five bedroom home with their two Filipino mothers in mind. Before COVID hit, they took turns looking after their children while they worked. With a spacious yard and a separate granny apartment, Ms Lamigo said the current house is perfect for the family and the design is quite similar to multigenerational homes at home.

Design of three houses

Three Houses, John Ellway

Three houses designed by John Ellway

Toby Scott

In July, a newly designed multigenerational home in Brisbane was named Australian House of the Year 2021 at the Houses Awards organized by Architecture Media. Built on the outskirts of downtown Paddington, Three House was designed for a couple from Penang, Malaysia, who wanted a home design that could accommodate the couple’s parents but “still felt like they didn’t live. not above each other “.

Three Houses architect John Ellway said the home’s flexible design allows for varied use and can easily respond to the changing circumstances of family groups over time.

John ellway

Brisbane architect John Ellway says he incorporated many traditional and enduring features common to Southeast Asian homes

Toby Scott

“What makes it quite special is that different owners can use the house in different ways. I think it could be two houses. So a multigenerational family maybe. And the good thing is that over time you can add another wall very simply and make three houses out of it. I think as architects it’s important to think about how the house might be used later, ”explained Mr. Ellway.

Mr Ellway told SBS Filipino that earlier during his time at college, designing a multigenerational home was something he “identified as quite important”.

The award-winning Brisbane architect has traveled extensively across Asia, with many of his recent trips to Malaysia to consult with the client for this design.

Three Houses, John Ellway

Large windows open the kitchen and dining room to natural light.

Toby Scott

George Town, the World Heritage Capital of the Malaysian state of Penang, is a thriving model of interculturalism and prides itself on its rich culinary history. It had a distinct influence on interior design where the kitchen / diner – with its charcoal tile splashback, dark worktop, and black dining ensemble – takes center stage and contrasts with the spaces. private from home.

The design of the wooden sliding shutters with textured glass panels at the bottom was one of the architect’s favorite works on the house.

Three Houses, John Ellway

For the Brisbane designer, balancing a sense of belonging and accessibility to common spaces is key.

Toby Scott

“I liked to think about the type of opening of the doors and windows. The possibility for people to shut themselves off and have privacy.

But the key to designing for different family groups, he said, is the balance between a sense of belonging and accessibility to common spaces.

“Everyone feels like they still have their own home, but there are good places to meet,” added the architect.

Living for several generations in Australia

Brisbane resident Salome Swan currently lives with her daughter and two grandchildren. Before moving into her current home, she previously lived with her other daughter and other grandchildren in Paddington, a few blocks from where Three House is located.

Ms. Swan is happy to hear that multigenerational living is finally gaining some credit in the downtown area and is now reflected in the design of the homes.

Three house, salome swan

Brisbane resident Salome Swan is used to living very closely with other people.

Celestial Macintosh

“I practically raised my two grandchildren too. We are used to living very closely with people. Here we have three people. If we were in the islands, we could accommodate maybe 12 people in this house, ”she said as she walked around her rental home – one of the last remaining free-standing homes on her street in the suburbs. trendy South Brisbane.

“I am from the Pacific; The peoples of the Pacific live together. This is how we have always been. And even Europeans, like from Bosnia, I know they live [multi-generationally]. So, this is quite common.

Living with the extended family

Visiting grandmother Arlyn Lamigo recalled when all four generations of her family lived together in the same resort in the Philippines and how it gave her father a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

“I think [it’s] Filipino culture. So my father never [asked us to move out] when we turned 18. In our case, as much as you can, as long as you can, keep your family together, ”Ms. Lamigo explained.

multigenerational life

The Aquino family continues to cherish the memories of having four generations in one household

Aquino family

Her daughter Precious continues this tradition now with Ms Lamigo living with them in Brisbane having been given another transitional visa after her one-and-a-half-year visitor visa expired last year.

“Since Jeff and I were working full time, we needed someone to be with the kids, especially the younger ones. So instead of getting them to [day care], we chose that our parents just come and help us [alternately] every six months, ”Ms. Aquino said.

Ms Aquino said that the grandmother’s apartment in their home certainly helped give a sense of independence to her two older sons, Denzel (19) and Miguel (17), who occasionally throw parties for their friends. She added that having separate entrances ensures the privacy of her adult children.

Room for growth

A 2019 report co-published by Corelogic and Archistar, stated that “over half a million homeowners on Australia’s east coast have enough space on their property to build a granny apartment. ‘

Although the report says it recognizes the benefits of grandma apartments in housing “adult children while they save for a mortgage” or aging family members “as they become more dependent care ”, the intention is less to meet the needs of multigenerational families and is rather driven by short-term rental income and surplus value.

Three Houses, John Ellway

La Maison Trois was designed to accommodate extended family members.

Toby Scott

When asked how he thought this interest in multigenerational home designs might evolve, Mr Ellway said the apartment “would be an interesting thing to watch.”

“I think I own two apartments next to each other. Thus, legal persons and building owners might be willing to establish small connections through apartments. I guess you have to look at what is the source of the initial need for multigenerational living, ”Mr. Ellway said.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has published a report in March 2019, who said that “almost a third (30% to 31%) of the Australian population is expected to live with their parents in 2041 (31% in 2016)”.

Ms Swan said the housing sector and the construction industry need to start thinking outside the box to meet the needs of many Australians who want to live closely with their extended families.

Three Houses, John Ellway

The outdoor space of the multigenerational home provides a refuge for families with a busy lifestyle.

Toby Scott

Part of his work in community development involves finding suitable housing for families of multigenerational migrants. She said it shouldn’t be seen as a luxury, but rather as a social benefit.

“[The] government always talks about social cohesion. The young parents I work with, those who are here without their extended family, are the ones who suffer a little more. While those who benefit from this family support are much better off, ”explained Ms. Swan.

Ms. Aquino continues to appreciate the memories of having four generations in one household in the Philippines. As she and her husband Jeff both ran their fine dining restaurant there, she said she never had to worry about the safety of their children with her parents and grandparents there to help take care children.

“We were busy chefs. With four children [then], we were able to give our full attention to all of our growing children.

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