Architects: Shaun Lockyer Architects
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Project Team: Shaun Lockyer – Design Principal, Lucy Hyndman – Project Architect, Jen Lambkin – Architect, Richard Pain – Architectural Technician, Corinne Bolton – Interiors
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 450 sqm
Photographs: Aperture Photography
In January 2010, clients commissioned SLa to do a ‘traditional’ build-in-under project to their 1890’s Queenslander that had already undergone a substantial renovation some years before. The house, while grand and in great condition, ignored the site attributes and did not adequately address the needs of contemporary living in the sub-tropics.
The final outcome essentially left the ‘history’ alone by adding 3 distinct ‘pods’ that allowed the house to be re-programmed. The architecture is deliberately sympathetic to the client’s interest in continuity rather than distinction. Materials are consistent throughout old and new, so the legibility of the juxtaposition comes across in the form rather than the material. What is new and what is old is manifestly clear while still allowing for a quiet, harmonious dialogue to exist between the two.
The ‘pods’ allow for appropriate consideration of light, air and transition such that previous dark and under-utilised spaces become warm and engaging. Internally, the removal of post war additions also allows the traditional spaces to be reinvigorated in such a way that the centre of gravity remains within the original cottage, which we felt to be appropriate. A simple (even reductive) but warm palette of white vj’s, weatherboards and new hardwood shiplap cladding creates a historically sensitive approach while simultaneously delivering on our contemporary aspirations.
The outcome is a reflection of an enormous leap of faith by the client who was clearly uncertain about the particular approach we initially proposed. Their feedback is that the outcome not only surpassed their expectations but has offered them a degree of freedom about how the house can be used into the future. From a design point of view, a happy client together with sense of joy and craft within the architecture is what we strive for. The project has certainly delivered on this.
Text provided by Shaun Lockyer Architects