The brief to Harley Graham Architects was to create a ‘granny flat’ for the client’s parents, within the footprint of their existing property in Byron Bay. Harley explains that the project extends the firm’s exploration of a ‘Garden Studio’ typology – they are interested in expanding the potential of a conventional quarter-acre block. The architects are passionate about finding new models to increase urban density, and this granny flat development perfectly aligned with their interests.
The granny flat extends into the garden of the existing Paul Uhlmann designed residence, and is both a private annex for the client’s parents, an outdoor shower, storage area and ‘operable pergola’ for the whole family. The mid-century inspired pavilion is designed for the subtropical climate, and offers privacy through a concealable door to ‘partition off a private realm as a bedroom and en suite’. Side note – have you ever seen more joyful bathroom tiles!?
The low and lean linear form of the outdoor flat is echoed in the small pool cabana space in the backyard. Both buildings are ‘wrapped in tallow wood on a floating concrete slab.’ Harley highlights that while the studio is essentially a ‘common granny flat’, the completed design incorporates the communal spaces of the pergola, an outdoor refuge and an entirely self-contained separate dwelling.
Harley and team are passionate about provoking new models of living, that reflect the diverse and changing make-up of contemporary Australia. He explains ‘the garden studio provides the opportunity to inspire and influence an increased public utilisation of the backyard studio typology’ – and in doing so, encourage sustainable and interwoven suburban communities of urban density and connection.