Architects: MARC&CO in collaboration with coarchitecture
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Project Team: Angus Munro, Craig Channon, Anna O’Gorman, Ceirwen Burton
Contractor: Pensar Building
Structural Engineer: AD Structures
Project area: 600 sqm
Project year: 2010
Photographs: Scott Burrows, Jason Haigh
This river front home is designed to engage with water views to the north and views into large fig trees to the south. At the centre of the house is a large double height living area which becomes the main space of the house and allows rooms deep with the plan to have an outlook, through the main room, to the river.
The site is flanked by neighbouring houses. To allow sunlight to enter from the north, and control privacy, a double wall was created. The wall gives a wash of light in the afternoon, creating a desired calmness.
Each end of the house is formed in over scaled off-form white concrete. The scale and smoothness of the concrete is contrasted with timber screens that scale down and humanise. The delicate screens, deep reveals of concrete and landscaped foreground create a series of layers between the river front boardwalk and the interior of the house. The house is a calm private sanctuary within a busy urban environment.
As one moves through the house there is a series of contrasting experiences. The house uses compressed spaces to enhance the scale of spaces beyond, textured materials to enhance the smoothness of concrete, darkness to enhance the light levels of a space beyond.
The house uses both thermal mass and cross ventilation as a means of passive cooling for the subtropical climate. The north facing plan has large overhangs with automated louvers allowing cross ventilation as required. The eastern and western facades have minimal openings, acting as a thermal barrier. There is also a 22000L underground watertank and extensive use of LED lighting.