A beautiful existing Poinciana tree in the back garden & a pair of clients with young children & a tendency towards exhibition – this addition provides a ‘theatre’ for the drama of growing up in mid inner city subtropical Brisbane.
A typical early 20th century queenslander it suffered the usual problems of tacked on additions and uncovered decks that were functionally not very useful & had a poor relation to the outside. The usual option of building in under was considered but the final design choice was to concentrate the family’s activities to the north facing back garden & maximise the interaction between living, house, garden & a new pool.
The additions are limited to two new rooms (bedroom & family area) where the generosity of space is not so much in the floor area but in the height of the space & the relationship to outside. There is also a lower height ‘service’ wing on the southern side containing an ensuite, robe & storage (it will also provide a future accesss link to the lower level).
Generally our office pursues ‘lightness’ (literally as well as metaphorically) as one method of establishing a strong ‘identity’ (if a building is light it is light, heavy if heavy). This project continues this exploration – lightweight ‘temporary’ fabric eaves that are lightly attached to the new roof allow the shadows of the Poinciana to be cast during the day & form a lantern at night.
Moments of theatre include the shower that opens to the garden & will (in the final configuration) open to its own small curtained courtyard. Plans for the ‘stage’ to the northeast corner of the block & scenery backdrop are on the board.
Status: completed 2017
Structural Engineer: Bligh Tanner
Construction Team: Albury Projects
Sheet metal: Studio Steel
Cabinetmaker: Des Shield
Lightweight awnings: Creative Canvas and Blinds
Photography: Shantanu Starick