Lockyer Residence / Shaun Lockyer Architects

© Scott Burrows

Architects: Shaun Lockyer Architects with Arkhefield
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Design Project Team: Shaun Lockyer, Julie Lockyer, Justin Boland, Michael Carlotto, Lucy Haynes, Jacquie Maestracci, Kellie Morris, Neva Wethereld
Builder: Bruce Wales
Engineer: Peter Ide, Westera Partners
Project Size: Original cottage 95 sqm, new works 65 sqm: Total 160 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Scott Burrows / Aperture Photography

The “Lockyer Residence” is a small, contemporary extension onto a post war house in Bardon, a heavily treed and hilly fringe suburb in Brisbane. The design looks to address two primary architectural issues, the first is about context and language, the second is about finding the “essence” of what is needed from an accommodation/ resource perspective in an effort to create a engaging but practical and economical outcome.

The extension is essentially a “pod” added onto the end of a post war house which, while largely leaving the original house in tact, allows for the overall outcome to be reprogrammed. The architecture is unapologetic in its overt, contemporary nature that sits in stark contrast to the original. Notwithstanding this bold move, the original proportions and integrity of the cottage are left in tact to preserve the virtue of both.

ground floor plan

The planning, layout and architecture of the space is about the family, the connection to the landscape and the engagement with the sky. The space was to address the cold winters and to allow for increased summer breezes, both of which were inadequate in the original cottage.

The extension was an experiment in achieving a qualitative outcome at a very low cost. The process afforded a relatively high degree of craft and joy in what is essentially a very simple, easy to construct little box.

© Scott Burrows

1. Conceptual Framework

The design of this house is all about creation of a simple, cost effective “pod” that needed to accommodate the needs of a young family that had outgrown the original cottage. The other core function of the extension was to improve the connection to the landscape, engage with the sky and to provide a more climatically comfortable place to live, using the minimum resources possible to achieve this. The space is about joy.

2. Public and Cultural Benefits

The retention of the old cottage preserves cultural and architectural identity and more basically public expectation. The contemporary extension, while highly visible from the street, is partly concealed by the large tree on the site and gives over the landscape zone to the public realm. The house is highly animated at night forming a “lantern” that creates a sense of joy in the street for all.

© Scott Burrows

3. Relationship of Built Form to Context

The extension is a bold juxtaposition with the existing post war cottage. The form of the extension is highly contrasted while the material and colours play a more sympathetic role by referencing the vernacular. The extensive use of glass to the street allows for a minimal palette of materials to be expressed and reinforces the idea of old and new.

4. Program Resolution

The need to be highly economical and sustainable, as well as being able to live in the house while building, determined a large degree of the planning. The extension houses the primary living area, kitchen and flexible room that functions as a study, guest bed and in the longer term, the main bed.

© Scott Burrows

5. Integration of Allied Disciplines

The outcome of this project is a reflection of a supportive and positive building process where the client and architect are one and the builder has had along association with the architect. Trust was there and the process allowed for boundaries to be pushed but in a cost effective and efficient way. The process was collaborative, experimental at times but cost effective and a great deal of fun.

6. Sustainability/ Environmental Consideration

There was a concerted effort in this design to address first principal design as there was no budget for “bells and whistles”. By virtue of having lived on the site for 6 years, we understood the sun, breezes, views etc which allowed us to tailor the space to make best use of light, air and amenity. Recycled and FSC timber (mostly), energy lighting, high spec insulation and fans were used. There is no air-conditioning.

section 01

Where possible the house has limited the use of applied materials. The ceiling under the mezzanine is the structural floor (as with the entry space) which not only shows off the structure but reduces the amount of resources used. The external cladding is also a environmental ply product rather than cement or fibre based product.

The space has also been designed to collect as much winter sun as possible to improve occupant comfort through the cooler winter months. All the material removed prior to building has been reused on the completed extension.

7. Response to Client and User needs

The challenge for this brief was to design a very small but sustainable space that could transform the use of a small house to meet the needs of a growing family. Allowing for flexibility in the brief and spaces to allow the house to “evolve” into the future was critical. Consideration of housing aging parents (abroad) and dealing with future needs of teenage kids all played a factor in the design, which so far is working out very well!

© Scott Burrows


Roofing: Lysaghts, Zincalume “Spandeck”
External Walls: “Shadowclad” painted
Internal Walls: Spotted Gum T&G boarding / Gyprock walls generally throughout
Windows: Frameless Sash Windows by “Aneeta” / Louvres by “Breezeway”
Doors: Timber doors by “Allkind Joinery”
Flooring: Spotted gum throughout
Lighting: Kitchen pendant by LAD, Wall fittings by Small Australian Projects, Living room pendant are Ikea and balance by Beacon
Kitchen: Built by Allkind Joinery, appliances are Whirlpool and Fischer Paykel by Harvey Normal Commercial
Bathrooms: Mosaics by Bizazza, Wall tiles by Salvatore Ceramics, Sanitary fittings by Reece, Glass by Network Glass, Vanity basin by Ikea
External Elements: Paving and landscaping supplies through Gap Handyman Centre
Artworks: Wall mural by Charles & Ray Eames (from Eames Office California) / Aboriginal work by Narpula Scobie Napurrula / “Yosemite” paintings in dining room by Felicity Parker / Living room piece by Shaun Lockyer

Cite: "Lockyer Residence / Shaun Lockyer Architects" 10 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=59190>