Text description provided by the architects. There is a boat from my childhood, “Makaira”, that inspires many of my projects. In that boat, I felt cradled, protected, but if I chose, I could open up to and be aware of the broader context around me. Three or four of these boats would raft together, each one acting as a room with a space in between. We would enjoy meals on one boat, cards or sleep on another and play in the water or wrecks nearby. We learnt from each other and moved in smaller but breathable spaces. As a structure, what a beautiful work in timber!
Raven Street House is an alteration and addition to a traditional workers cottage in the inner Brisbane suburb of West End. Like Makaira, it is protective of the owner’s young family and artwork but creates a greater awareness of country surrounding the structure. At the Raven Street House, the new structure plays with timber tradition respectfully but it reworks the dark Victorian core.
The workers cottage opens to the street as gallery and workspace while domestic life is within the new structure behind and under. The site slopes gently to the rear, allowing the addition to take advantage of the space provided by the undercroft of the existing cottage. A frame and floor of ironbark and compact laminate makes the verandahs on which they live. H shaped columns take cladding of timber, coloured and textured glass and curtains.
Coloured and textured glass reminiscent of traditional housing in the area lines east and west boundaries. The walls glow at dawn and dusk, filter views and manage air movement. Ironbark flooring is the ceiling below, the undercroft. Slatted edges allow rain and water from bathing to fall through. Awnings protect the sleepout from south-western storms and winter winds. North and east sun penetrates deep into the plan through courtyards and a glass-roofed void within the workers cottage.