The creation of the Yeronga House presented a blank canvas in every sense of the word. Not only was the project a new-build, it was also the first project to be designed by Lisa Breeze’s architecture practice, and intended for a family with two recently born sons.
Lisa was actually first engaged for the project back in 2012, but it took a number of years before getting the home off the ground (literally), while the owners started a family and kicked various career goals.
‘Because of this, the brief changed from ‘we’d like to live in a house’ to ‘we’d like to live in a house, and it now needs to be a luxe yet low-maintenance family home for us and our two young boys’, recalls Lisa.
While elements of the design changed along the way to accommodate the growing family, there was a consistent desire to frame views of the Brisbane skyline. Achieving this was one of the most challenging parts of the project due to strict height regulations in the area and the nature of the site.
‘It is skinny and irregular in shape, and slopes steeply in two directions,’ says Lisa. ‘The challenge then becomes fitting the spaces in, working the circulation, and ensuring connections to the outside are practical, all while avoiding excessive height and bulk.’
Lisa’s approach to overcoming these issues was to create multiple levels throughout the home, along with pitched ceilings that provide internal volume without excessive height. The kitchen and living areas are positioned on the middle layer of the home, while the sleep and play zones are located on their own floors. ‘This helps define open-plan living spaces and alters the perspective as you move through the home,’ says Lisa. ‘Everyone in the family has their place for retreat.’
In keeping with the home’s context, historic Queenslanders were an obvious design influence from the outset. ‘It’s probably a cliche, but the historic Queenslanders are a really important reference point for design in this climate,’ Lisa explains. ‘Verandahs, eaves, screens, and outdoor spaces serve a very specific purpose for Brisbane living.’ Another classic Queensland element is the surrounding subtropical greenery, which Lisa says grows so big it could feed dinosaurs!
The external material palette was kept classic and simple. Aluminium cladding with a horizontal pattern (a subtle reference to the weatherboard facade of traditional Queenslanders), and composite battens (that offer the benefits of timber without the maintenance) consolidate the design.
Lisa has been fortunate to enjoy this home after its completion when visiting the clients, who are old friends. ‘Their home launched my practice, and is one of my proudest achievements,’ she says. ‘Architect ‘Aunty Lease’, as I’m known in these parts, always has a home away from home when she travels up North!’