The 5×4 Hayes Lane Project is an architectural and design statement to say the least. Located on a cobblestone laneway in East Melbourne, Victoria, this contemporary four-storey home utilises an incredibly small footprint. Measuring just 5×4 metres, this tiny block definitely makes a difference to sustainable living.

5×4 Hayes Lane Project

Ralph Alphonso from Barley Store Productions Pty Ltd, is the designer behind this incredible home. Ralph says he wanted to ensure that functionality and space will not be sacrificed despite the unique architecture of the building. He wanted to create something that reduces ecological footprint but doesn’t compromise on quality, something that we could all learn from, for better living in the future.

And we can agree that his goal has been achieved, and then some. This urban building is designed, built, and powered with passive and active eco-driven processes, materials, and performance considerations. From the materials used in construction, to the electrics and appliances, everything about the 5×4 Hayes Lane Project demonstrates and encourages discussion around sustainable living.

“Home” is the only way to describe this creation because despite its challenging size, this place does not want for anything. Every tiny detail was considered during the planning process to make sure that every nook and cranny was accounted for and utilised in the best possible way. From multi-purpose furniture like the lounge couch that converts into a dining table, to a dual purpose room on the lower level that has a study nook under the stairwell and can even garage a smart car. And let’s not forget to mention the hot tub located on the rooftop!

In terms of major electrical appliances it offers everything a typical household might have – a washing machine, condenser dryer, combination oven and microwave, dishwasher… as for refrigeration, Liebherr’s built-in under-counter fridge and freezer completes the kitchen.

Refrigeration In This Project

All these appliances are either hidden behind cupboard doors (washing machine & dryer) or installed under the kitchen benchtop to maximise on space. Ralph decided that Liebherr would be the only choice when it came to refrigeration in this project as both the under-counter fridge UIK 1620 and under-counter freezer UIG 1313 offer great efficiency when it comes to energy consumption (3.5 star ratings in Australia).

UIK 1620, UIG 1313

Having two separate refrigeration functions further offers ways to save on energy consumption, which is an added bonus. When you have nothing in the freezer, simply switch it off to save energy (likewise with the fridge). This is also a very practical solution when it comes to going on holidays since you can empty your fridge of fresh produce and switch it off, leaving just your freezer running with food that can be stored safely in your absence. As a space-saving and sustainability initiative, the UIK 1620 and UIG 1313 are a great way to go!

The 5×4 Hayes Lane Project was featured on FOXTEL’s Grand Designs Australia, Season 6. Check out the project website for a full 360 of the building.