Located in Bardon, Brisbane, among the leafy foothills of Mt Coot-tha, is ‘The Nest’ by Shaun Lockyer Architects.
Most significant about this project is its sheer size, being positioned on a rare 4240-square metre block. (For perspective, the Urban Development Institute of Australia reports the median greenfield lot size in South East Queensland is currently around 440 square metres.)
It was the client’s intention this home provide an ‘acreage lifestyle’ normally only achievable on a rural estate. Major works were required to manipulate the land to achieve this outcome, creating more than 1500 square metres of flat, open lawn mimicking a sprawling paddock.
The focal point of the property is the north-east aspect over the garden, pool and tennis court, all of which enjoy distant city views. The open-plan living pavilion in particular embraces this aspect, with large doors enabling the space to become either fully internal or fully external as required. ‘The experience of this space is more akin to being on a verandah than being in a house, which is a very deliberate outcome we intended as a result of considering the space in a sub-tropical context,’ says Shaun Lockyer.
The widespread use of concrete is softened by the use of grey ironbark and various natural stones. ‘Our preference is always natural materials that age gracefully,’ Shaun says. ‘Sandblasted concrete, spotted gum timber, natural stone and textured renders all are characterised by a tactility and warmth that one only finds in natural materials.’
The overriding aesthetic here is heavily inspired by mid-century modern architecture, specifically the work of Californian modernists around the ‘60s. ‘The use of heavily verticals and light horizontals is testament to this vernacular,’ says Shaun.
Among the home’s passive design features is the timber rain screen, which provides shade, protection and security. Deep eaves, excellent cross flow ventilation, and natural light make for a sustainable long-term proposition. ‘The use of first principle design that optimises orientation, natural breezes and year-round comfort is seminal to the work,’ Shaun says. Beyond good design, this house also incorporates solar power, LED lighting, and thermal mass.
One can only imagine the many memories this spectacular home will be host to!