The LiveWorkShare House by Bligh Graham Architects is a prototype for flexible and sustainable living that can be applied in any context, from semi-regional spaces to the middle of suburbia.
‘The feel we were after, was for it to be like a mini tropical village,’ says architect Chris Bligh. ‘No direct aesthetic influence apart from a desire to have a conversation with the immediate neighbours, and the larger context of the semi-rural village that the project is situated in.’
Located in Samford Village, a small town just outside Brisbane, the idea was to make the house as functional as possible, with maximum connection to the outdoors. Comprising a residence, small commercial office and self-contained flat, the house expands and contracts for different purposes.
‘While the look and feel of the project is particular to our site and budget, it is the ideas embedded in its planning strategy that are transferable,’ says Chris. ‘By composing the project as as series of single-room deep pavilions arranged around a central courtyard, and separated by “micro-courtyards”, all parts of the project have excellent amenity and enhanced flexibility of use.’
Crucially, rooms can be repurposed within the sequence to ensure flexibility over time. For example, the spare bedroom could become part of the office or the flat could become a separate dwelling entirely.
Verge gardens and ‘porous’ street-side edges allow the house to socialise with the outside world and vice versa; large bi-fold doors and windows create transitional space between the built and natural forms. These green zones punctuate the interior layout, offering fresh outlooks and moments of reprieve.
The material selection reflected the raw, earthy nature of the build, allowing the residence to slip into the semi-rural suburban context defined by tin and timber. The internal palette is the opposite, featuring a ‘smooth and silky wax finish’. Custom brass accents lift the darkened space, which is designed to passively deflect light and heat, and accentuate the landscape.
‘It is vital that we find a better way of densifying the suburbs other than the current trend to cram as much building on a site as possible, with no room left for gardens or the ability to make a climatically responsive design with good amenity and privacy,’ emphasises Chris.
With design like this, the future looks hopeful!
See more projects from Bligh Graham Architects here.