Elysium / Richard Kirk Architect

© Scott Burrows

Architects: Richard Kirk Architect
Location: , , Queensland, Australia
Completed: 2008
Structural Engineer: Bornhorst & Ward
Hydraulic Engineer: Cooper & Associates
Photographs: Scott Burrows

© Scott Burrows

Richard Kirk Architect was one of several architects invited in 2005 to participate in the Elysium development which is an ambitious 189 lot boutique housing sub-division on a site to the west of the centre of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. Elysium initially adopted architecture as the key driver for the amenity and quality of the environment for the entire development.

© Scott Burrows

Lot 176 is the first of the series and is in effect a prototype using the same materials, construction, and spatial ideas as a shared palette. The residence on Lot 176 is located on a ridge along the west of the Elysium development with views to the rear into extant landscape and a golf course beyond. The residence occupies the majority of the allowable building envelope and then provides a carved out two story volume in the centre to allow light and ventilation to all interior spaces.

The carved interior volume provides an internal focus visually and functionally. The inside and outside are united by seamless transitions and the consistent use of a restrained palette of materials. Materials are generally timbers left to weather naturally, zinc, and self-finished oxide renders which will improve their appearance with time, allowing the houses to merge with the landscape with an overall desire for applied finishes to be kept to a minimum.

© Scott Burrows

The organisational strategy was delivered by the topography which allowed the garaging of cars to occur below grade with the living spaces on the ground and sleeping spaces placed above. The removal of the garage spaces from the main living level allowed the main living spaces to link visually and physical along the long axis of the rectangular site and allowed the living spaces to be treated as a field of connected spaces and rooms whilst the bedrooms on the next level are conceived as nests floating above.

The building is largely opened on the short access to allow views out of site with the living level utilising sliding screens to opening the interior completely to the exterior. The long axis walls are largely solid and openings are finely screened with vertical timber to blend with the vertical cedar cladding to give the sense of taught solid volume folding over the long sides.

plan 01

On the short axis to the bedroom level the openings are finely screened with horizontal timber members which from within allow exterior views whilst presenting a solid volume albeit with a subtle change in texture. The careful screening allows the opening of the building without compromising security or privacy from the adjacent dwellings.

Cite: "Elysium / Richard Kirk Architect" 19 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=227564>
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  • rock

    it appears the neighbouring houses share those spatial ideas + material palette referenced – same architect too?
    the house is good, fantastic timber work by the joiner or carpenter.
    the landscaping details + choice of materials are more ordinary + a bit hard + so lets it down somewhat.

    • Rory

      This house is part of a development where Architects from around Australia were invited to design houses for a unique ‘architectural community’. That is why the neighboring houses look the way they do. They got about 20 built out of a couple of hundred and then the company behind it went bankrupt. Unfortunately for the people who bought off plan or newly completed houses for a few million $$ they lost a tonne of money as you can pick these up for less than half of the original asking price and the ‘community’ is more like a ghost town.

      • streetstik

        Failed urban communities contrived by architectural ego. I’m sure this formed part of the development’s success………

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