A Work Life Balance Driven by Design

Sunday Times Real Estate

24 July 2016

By 2030, one in three workers is expected to be employed on a freelance basis, driving a significant rise in the home-work “tribe”, according to latest research from the Commonwealth Bank.

To meet the demands of this tribe, the CBA believes building design will need to be flexible and tailored to suit the working needs of the homeowners. In Perth, however, the futuristic designs are already gaining traction.

WA architect Barry Baltinas believes combined live-work spaces are the way of the future and he’s already incorporating this into his designs.

“Perth is taking quantum leaps in how people are living,” he said, “It’s a vibrant and bustling city, with nodes (forming) in places such as Mount Lawley and Victoria Park.

“There is the opportunity to have work-live spaces. It means you have the flexibility with how you work and blend lifestyle, taking you’re lunch break in your own kitchen.” Mr Baltinas said advancements in technology would continue to challenge what working in an office meant.

Baltinas Made’s Velo development in the old part of Northbridge is testing this market. The complex is dominated by apartments but offers two live-work spaces where owners can design their living needs around the workplace. The street frontage could be a clothing store, yoga centre or consultant’s office, but behind a sliding wall, hidden door or smart glass, there would be a two-bedroom apartment.

“There are so many variables,” he said. “You could preset layouts with smart wiring, so when you arrive home (the layout) will be set as you want it.”

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