The brief for this home was to construct a downsized residence, for an owner who no longer utilised all of the space in his three-bedroom house on site. The architects saw an opportunity to explore the idea of a ‘granny flat’, and create an alternative typology for this additional dwelling in Keperra, Brisbane.
Director of Atelier Chen Hung, James Hung explains ‘the concept is essentially to create a string of three rooms, each with a different view to the landscape: the foreground, the middle ground and the background.’ The kitchen and living area looks out to the creek reserve, the entry deck is embraced by lush greenery, and the bedroom has a close view of cherry blossom. He explains ‘this creates a dynamic living experience, depending on where you are in the house, all within a small package.’
The compact house is innovative in introducing a central void to the space, that frames the landscape, and encourages (demands!) the owner spends time in fresh air everyday, as they negotiate the space between the rooms. James describes how this ‘punctured void’ serves as an arrival court, and is intended to ‘heighten one’s awareness of the changing environmental conditions.’
The dwelling is robustly constructed, using resilient materials in their raw state. This approach allowed for a low maintenance home, delivered on a constrained budget. The board-marked concrete walls give the impression of a rock in the landscape. James explains that the design takes inspiration from German artist Beate Gütschow, whose work mashes together post industrial landscapes in 17th century landscaping painting formats.
The interiors counter-balance the robust, industrial exterior, through the use of locally sourced Cyprus and Hoop Pine plywood panels. Through cleverly placed storage units and amenities located within a concealed joinery wall, James explains that this project seeks to experiment with the daily pleasures of living in a compact dwelling.