The owner, a single occupant, had lived in an original classic Queenslander with lots of character, including 12-foot ceilings, large verandahs, leadlight bay windows and timber-framed leadlight casement windows. However, the house had become too large for a sole occupant, as well as difficult to clean & maintain. Climatically, it was cold in winter & hot in summer.
The owner’s brief was for a smaller house for herself, with an emphasis on visual privacy, and with spaces for entertaining & for overnight accommodation for visiting family & friends. The new house would retain the special qualities she would miss in the old house. However, the new house would be smaller, easy to clean and would have a 5-star energy efficiency rating.
At time of construction, the home was valued at 1.7 times the project construction cost.
Architectural Response: Twin Pavilions
The new house is influenced by the double gabled façade of the old house to create two long pavilions under two double pitched roofs. The larger, open pavilion, combines the high interior ceilings and external verandah of the old house to create a new hybrid space: a long pavilion with a curved ceiling which runs from the front right through to the back verandah. The ceiling at its highest point reaches 3.5 metres, recalling the 12-foot ceilings of the old house, curving down to a more intimate 2.7 metres at the sides, where flat ceilings form intimate alcoves for seating, shelving and entertainment units.
This luminous curved ceiling floats over the shared Living, Dining, and Outdoor Entertaining areas.
At the front of the house, the pavilion projects as a three-sided leadlight glass enclosed Morning Room. The northerly orientated room captures winter sun for the whole of the day, while in summer, the Room stays in full shade, capturing the prevailing sea breezes from nearby Moreton Bay.
Visitors refer to this space as a cathedral. Although the floor area is very compact, it seems much larger due to this architecturally designed ceiling, hovering above a single long space which offers an uninterrupted vista, from the front Morning Room into the back garden.
The leadlight windows were custom made for the project, comprising timber framed casements. The coloured stained glass to the Morning Room is blue and pearl glass, sourced by the client and incorporated into the timber frames. The private sleeping & bathing functions are housed in the smaller pavilion which has a flat 2.7 metre ceiling and architecturally, is expressed as the less flamboyant of the 2 pavilions. Nevertheless, it is characterised by a north facing bay window to the main bedroom, comprising leadlight timber framed casement windows, in a chequerboard pattern, custom designed & fabricated for this project.
The two pavilions are connected by a large open Kitchen which is the hub of the house.
The Control Bridge
There is a secluded Computer Nook with a hidden door access. From this Snug, one has surveillance over the street, as well as an internal view over the stairwell, back to the Kitchen. It is likened to a ship’s Control Bridge.
Energy Efficient Design
In the main living pavilion, the side walls have been staggered to draw north light and prevailing sea breezes through the house, while offering visual privacy from the side neighbours. Alcoves to the western sleeping & bathing pavilion admit natural light & ventilation while blocking out the afternoon western sun and views from the other side neighbours.
A high level of wall and ceiling insulation has resulted in a 5 star rated energy efficient house. The insulation and careful placement of walls has also delivered a home which is very quiet inside.
Rainwater harvesting is achieved through water tanks stored below the rear verandah. A solar hot water unit was installed.
In this new home, the owner has retained the spatial qualities and the old world leadlight features reinterpreted from the original classic Queenslander.
Additionally, the owner has upgraded to a 5-star energy efficiency rated home which is thermally stable, easy to keep clean and achieves a high level of visual and acoustic privacy. At the time of construction, the home was valued at 1.7 times the project construction cost.
This home was published in The Brisbane News. Read the article here.