Z House / Donovan Hill

Z House / Donovan Hill

Z House / Donovan Hill - Bench, GardenZ House / Donovan Hill - Windows, FacadeZ House / Donovan Hill - Lighting, Door, Brick, Beam, Windows, HandrailZ House / Donovan Hill - Windows, Door, Kitchen, Chair, BeamZ House / Donovan Hill - More Images+ 9

Brisbane, Australia

Text description provided by the architects. Conceptual Framework

Many enjoyable homes are made in buildings that were not meant to be houses…they have a certain autonomous presence that has enduring appeal. There is an attempt here to make a timelessly functional pinwheel/courtyard building that preserves a piece of the hillside to serve as the memorable marvel of the place. It is interesting to attempt this on a site with an ideal view, to test what is more timelessly enduring; the terrain or the prospect, (a theme relentlessly pursued by the Japanese).

There is much Australian discussion of relating buildings to landscape. This scheme speculates about pushing the garden as the prime to phenomena among reticent rooms…a phenomena not just to look at but to be with.

Z House / Donovan Hill - Windows, Facade
© Jon Linkins

Public and cultural benefits

Within the streetscape the overscaled portal, which is a feature of the approach elevation,

captures several views within its frame; from adjacent hillside vantage points one can see through the building to other fragmented hillsides, precious pieces of the interior decoration and the clambering vegetation.

Z House / Donovan Hill - Windows, Facade
© Jon Linkins

Relationship of built form to context

The building form is modelled on the hillside generally with all its precariousness and clambering characteristics. It harmlessly towers above its northern neighbour in a very Brisbane way. It offers abstracted gravel terraces to those who overlook from the south.

Z House / Donovan Hill - Bench, Garden
© Jon Linkins

The site boundaries are deliberately undeliniated to allow the hillside vegetation to sluice about.

Z House / Donovan Hill - Windows, Brick, Facade, Handrail, Courtyard
© Shantanu Starick

Program resolution

A brief that suited rehearsing prior studio themes; a house that facilitated various forms of household.

Integration and allied Discipline

Structural single skin brickwork required engineering, manufacturer and contractor support

Cost / Value outcome

rading interior linings for well crafted set pieces benefits the experience

Z House / Donovan Hill - Windows
© Sam Thiess


Comfortable environmental conditions are anticipated by relying on optimal building orientation, thermal mass developing by being ‘against’ and ‘under’ the earth, cooling from adjustable cross ventilation and centralising a micro climate. Intensive, deliberate shade planting, festooned creepers, tectonic floral pieces and protective trellising are additionally heaped into the composition to further finesse the building’s environmental performance and patination. In this way the weathering materials and detailing of the building, the deployment of the ventilation using picturesque openings, and the contrived landscape form and plantings are combined.

The planning scheme, protecting roof and self weathering materials should not require much energy to change or renew the building over time.

Z House / Donovan Hill - Handrail
© Shantanu Starick

Response to client and users needs

The design of the ‘wondrous’ inner sanctum concentrates local reactions as the house can be open yet secure during rain events while during dry spells the solar gain is mediated through shaded building mass and adjustably ventilated openings.

The proprietor has become a keen gardener.

Z House / Donovan Hill - Table, Chair, Windows, Beam
© Jon Linkins

Project gallery

See allShow less
About this office
Cite: "Z House / Donovan Hill" 01 Jul 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/66577/z-house-donovan-hill> ISSN 0719-8884

© Jon Linkins

Z 住宅 / Donovan Hill

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.