House Shmukler / Tribe Studio Architects

© Brett Boardman

Architects: Tribe Studio Architects
Location: , Australia
Project team: Hannah Tribe, Josephine Hurley, Aaron Murray, Tony Tribe
Builder: JLS Construction
Structural engineer: Cardno, Cosmo Farinola
Project year: 2007 – 2010
Photographs: Brett Boardman

© Brett Boardman

This house is conceived of as a series of boxes suspended in a large shed-like space. The private spaces of the house, the bedrooms and bathrooms, hover over the public spaces. Each bedroom is expressed as a box, pulled apart from its fellows creating a series of double height voids. The edges of the private spaces describe the public volumes.

Built for a Sydney family, the house is on a deep, narrow, north-facing site on an unattractive beach-side suburban street.

plan 02

Our clients have 2 kids, a large extended family and live very casually, entertaining outdoors all year round.

Built to a tight budget, House Shmukler is honest in its material palette and uses industrial construction techniques. On a portal frame, the exterior is conceived of as a wrap of sheet metal lined in bracing ply, within which the pristine plasterboard boxes hover. The floor is structural concrete slab with in-slab heating/cooling. Low light windows and concealed operable skylights promote cross and stack-effect ventilation.

© Brett Boardman

Side penetrations are limited to allow the house to focus on the pool and direct sunshine at the northern end, and northern light and air penetrates the depth of the plan from skylights over the double height voids.

The house revisits the separation of public and private or served and servant. It uses space around private volumes for ventilation and insulation, rethinking methods of achieving environmental sustainability in our hot climate. The house is inwardly focused, on the business of family life and on unexpected vertical internal views that change with the passage of the sun through the day.

Cite: "House Shmukler / Tribe Studio Architects" 09 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Koda design

    Well done Tribe Studio! Love everything from the idea of having ‘boxes within a box’ through to your use of natural light. Very articulate house!