Stuart Harrison – Treehouse

by Jenny Butler
Wednesday 19th October 2011

Another impressively designed small home from Stuart Harrison’s 2nd book Forty Six Square Metres of Land Doesn’t Normally Become A House, today’s home the Treehouse is located in sunny Brisbane. – Jenny x

Treehouse as seen in Forty Six Square Metres of Land Doesn’t Normally Become A House. All photos – Christopher Frederick Jones

This is the amazing Treehouse in suburban Brisbane, the work of local architect Brian Steendyk. It’s a major renovation of a small ‘Queenslander’ cottage, with the new elements covered in these fantastic laser-cut rusted steel screens. They do several things at once (as all good design should) – reducing the heat of the sun, screening direct views to the neighbour (and vice-versa), and adding decoration. It’s a wonderful effect especially at night when light from inside seeps out, and the house glows like two lanterns.

The two sections of the house are separated by a courtyard in the middle – and this is one of great ways to bring light into the middle of a house, especially on a longer block. It’s also good for natural ventilation, and here two outdoor spaces are formed around the rear pavilion, which has open living space downstairs and a main bedroom above.

All photos – Christopher Frederick Jones

The project is one of several that have full bleed double page spreads in the layout – they are moments of openness in the book, which has deliberately dense design. They act a bit like parks in the city – the all-important areas of amenity we are drawn to.


by Jenny Butler
Wednesday 19th October 2011


  • Clare 4 years ago

    If I don’t win a copy of this book I’m going to have to buy one! These are all just amazing!

  • Margie 4 years ago

    If I don’t win this book I’m going to have a hissy fit… and then buy one… Good job Brian – so FAB to see such interesting details and approach in Brisvegas.

  • Ant 4 years ago

    I love small homes and hope this book will give me inspiration to lessen the enviro footprint of my planned new home in the Bend of Islands.

  • kevina 4 years ago

    Thanks for the inspiration of such beautifully created ‘small’ homes. I live the complete opposite life on a farm surrounded by lots of open space – but these wonderful creations in such limited spaces intrigue and inspire me… thanks for putting together such a great book.

  • Sue Maynes 4 years ago

    I love the new move back to small homes. It puts people back into contact with each other, which the mansions removed – the sense of companionship. I am old enough to remember gran sitting in the lounge chair knitting, my grandfather stretched out on the couch reading the paper, we grandkids on the floor, inches from the television or radio, playing monopoly or some other game. Small houses may not give us room to spread out but they give us permission to touch another person. Fantastic. Combine that with chic decor and you have a real home.

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