Set upon tranquil acreage in Chandler, Queensland, this site afforded Shaun Lockyer Architects the luxury of creating an elongated, linear floorplan that stretches out across the east-west axis to take advantage of the north-eastern exposure. To further capitalise on the space available, and to create fluidity inside and out, they created an outdoors room defined by white brick “ha-ha” walls. [A “ha-ha” is a recessed landscape design-element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving uninterrupted views of the area beyond.] Combined with a couple of full-height walls featuring large circular apertures, the inclusion of this outdoors room adds depth and intrigue to the property without inhibiting the flow of space and light.
The white brickwork, which defines the entire ground floor, also serves to create the mid-century modern look that the owners wanted. The owners, interested in mid-century modern work, referencing white painted brick specifically, wanted to contextualise the house in the sub-tropics. To this end, the architects proposed a mix of simple modern forms with some playful combinations of timeless materials. They chose a random selection of bricks from PGH Bricks and had them painted in Dulux’s Lexicon Quarter Strength “PCWF4”. Although the use of brick was initiated by the owners referencing a mid-century modern look, it was also an ideal choice as it responds to the local vernacular, which is overwhelmingly brick-veneer construction. Moreover, as brick is renowned for its robust nature and longevity, capable of withstanding the harshest of weather, it’s ideal for a home in the sub-tropics. Painted white, the brickwork provides a fresh, bright contrast to the timber and dark cladding above; a striking juxtaposition that continues inside with crisp white ceilings and walls setting the backdrop for charcoal cabinetry and spectacular mosaic cladding in the kitchen and bathroom. The builders, M2 Construct, were excellent completing the project on time and on budget.
Architecturally, this project represents a good example of how with relatively limited means, something interesting can be achieved. The restraint of architectural form and minimal palette offered constraints that made for a better final outcome; while the owners’ appreciation of quality over quantity moved the new build forward.
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