The design brief was for two individual houses that would feel light, spacious and maintain privacy on a small site in St Lucia, Brisbane. The mature Silky Oak tree at the front of the site was to be maintained as a significant feature.

The two strongest parameters driving the design of the project were the idea of ‘flowing spaces’ and thermal comfort provided through passive solar design principles.

Although the houses are modest in size they achieve a generous feeling of spaciousness. This is achieved by the open plan, the inter-linking of spaces both horizontally and vertically, resulting in connections between floor levels and internal and external spaces. The flow on of the spaces creates a gentle definition of spaces. This in turn softens the rigid circulation spine and supplements the efficient layout. The spatial quality is as much defined by user perception as by physical enclosure.

The houses have been sited to make best use of the site’s microclimate resulting in excellent thermal performance. They have good access to cooling summer breezes whilst receiving ample winter sun. Spaces are filled with natural light.

The architectural ornamentation is the bold expression of construction details and the use of materials that are rich in texture and colour. Materials and construction details reinforce the concept of the flowing space by projecting beyond and eroding their usual definition.

This project was well received and published in ‘100 Top Houses from Down Under’ (2005). This project was undertaken whilst in employment with Kevin Hayes Architects.

Completed 2002

Construction: Probuild Industries Australia

Structural Engineer: John Batterham Engineering

Landscape Consultant: Peter Blake

Photographs: Damien Bredberg