a different approach to architecture and construction

We are doing architecture differently. At Happy Haus creativity and innovation are in our DNA. Founded through a collaboration between leading Australian architectural firm, Donovan Hill, and local developer, Toby Lewis, the goal for Happy Haus has always been to disrupt the traditional model of design and construction, which can be costly, time-consuming and come with no guarantees. All of our effort is designed to make better houses available for more people.

Our business disrupts both the traditional architectural model and the traditional builder model. We believe that the housing market in Australia was overdue for some innovation and that homes at any budget can be designed well and built with care.

Our unique team structure assembles a highly experienced, group with diverse skillsets and at every step of the process, we each contribute what we do best. Close collaboration from the get go means we get it right from the start, leading to an efficient process and saving our clients money through quicker project completion and a shorter design and documentation period.

The predominant model of residential construction in Australia is by far the “project home”. Addressing the considerations of cost and time, this model frequently falls short on design.  To us quality design results in the creation of homes that are nurturing, inspiring places to be. We know that good design doesn’t need to cost a fortune.

You’ll see that our houses cater for a range of sites types and sizes, with big and small homes on offer to suit a range of lifestyles and family sizes. We believe even the most modest of homes can be designed thoughtfully with equal consideration being given to design and cost outcomes.

Historically, architecture and construction have been viewed as entirely separate, even adversarial, entities! We couldn’t disagree more wholeheartedly with this approach. In a traditional architectural model, the client and architect work extensively prior to tendering the house, meaning that cost over-runs are common and houses either don’t get built, cost more, or must be re-designed in order to be feasible. By contrast, project homes are designed for speed and ease of construction, frequently with little regard for the quality of life its occupants will have.

We want to build homes that are great places to be. Allowing rich and fulfilling lives. We create spaces that are beautiful and practical, engage with their surrounds and maximise the ability to enjoy the lifestyle benefits of life in the subtropics.

Through our integrated approach, Happy Haus is able to offer our clients cost-certainty and design innovation. With a range of pre-designed architectural homes on offer, as well as bespoke architectural services for homes and small-scale commercial work, we tailor our service to suit your timeframe, site, style and budget. Our model of design relies heavily on a close collaboration between architect and builder from day one. We have no interest in selling designs that can’t be built or in putting our clients under un-necessary financial burden due to budget blow outs.

Our studio team bring to their work a diversity of experience on award-winning projects from the very large to the very small. The thing we all have in common is our absolute passion for designing great homes. We recognise that designing and building a home is one of the largest personal and financial undertakings that most people have undertaken and we take great pride in being able to facilitate this process in a manner that ensures it’s not only as smooth and straightforward as possible, but is actually inspiring and enjoyable in the process.

The real joy in the process for us is working in partnership with our clients to create something beautiful, which takes maximum advantage of your site, is as straightforward as possible from an approval perspective and fits within your financial comfort zone. We understand that when it comes to managing cost, there’s no “silver bullet”. On every project, we work with our clients to find the right balance of size, detail and finish for their project.

Our fascination with designing great places to live only grows with each project we complete – get in touch to discuss how we could help with your project.

 Written by: Jessica Hardwick – Happy Haus Lead Architect