Sited in a verdant Brisbane gully, as the name suggests, near the river in Brisbane’s inner southern suburbs, this small house seeks to take full advantage of its secluded site and intimate views over the lush sub-tropical vegetation in the immediate surrounds.
By its location in the lower lying areas of the suburb and being close to the river, the site is subject to severe flooding in periods of intense rainfall. The need to raise the living areas above flood level whilst also retaining significant existing trees on the small site influenced the decision to arrange the house over three levels, maintaining a small footprint. The lower floor under the flood level accommodates cars, storage and rainwater tanks. The main floor accessed by a long bridge across the gully enjoys views to both the north and east over adjoining gardens and provides large living areas, study, guest room, kitchen, laundry and guest bathroom with the living areas opening onto a large north facing deck with stairs connected to the garden. The upper level which overlooks the large, almost 2 storey high, living spaces includes a generous master bedroom with bay window toward the river views and a mezzanine studio for one of the residents who works from home.
The character of the house and the method of construction responds to the particular physical characteristics of the site including the fragile nature of the soil conditions where the house straddles both a stormwater and sewer line, the close proximity of neighbours to the west and the dense tree canopy providing high levels of shade over the site.
External spaces are arranged for varying levels of openness and closure with the more open spaces, the living areas, enjoying the better views to the north and east whilst spaces of retreat, principally the bedrooms and study are designed to be more hermetic. Large openings between wall spaces also facilitate a high level of cross ventilation along with thermal ventilation afforded by high level roof openings. A simple palette of materials has been employed for all finishes with a particular concern to emphasise space and high ambient light levels.
Notwithstanding the restricted budget and the construction difficulties of the site, the house is remarkably private and enjoys a strong but complimentary character to the sub-tropical landscape.
The Royal Australian Institute of Architects - Regional Awards - Brisbane House of the Year (QLD)
Australian Timber Design Awards - Best Use of Timber Flooring
The Royal Australian Institute of Architects - Individual House Award (QLD)