Jagera / Turrbal
This house is designed to maximise flexibility for a grown family, providing a myriad of gathering and private spaces for inter-generational living.
Our client sought a house designed for the next phase of generational change in their family. Their need was for an intimate set of spaces to house two empty-nesters, within a larger home to accommodate the inevitable sporadic return of offspring through their adult lives and the expected arrival of grandchildren. Their north-facing site in Bardon falls away from the street, on a small lot of 400sqm. The fall is approximately 8 metres, cascading to bushland below. The design divides this large brief into a lower ‘bush building’ containing a parent’s wing and main living spaces, and an upper ‘street building’, containing car-parking, a home office and adult children’s zone. These separate wings enclose a central external courtyard, and are connected by two circulation spines, one public, and one private, running perpendicular to the street on either side. This arrangement allows for quiet occupation of 50% of the house by the parent owners. The spaces are intimate for daily use, with the ability to swell and expand to welcome the wider family as required. Splitting the brief into two wings allows the structure to terrace down the steeply sloping site, minimising the visual impact on the streetscape, and increasing privacy to the parent wing. Additionally, the courtyard and stepping form maximise ventilation, sunlight and aspect to all rooms. The privacy afforded by the separation of the wings is balanced by generous gathering spaces flanking the central courtyard. The main living level is very open, containing large amounts of glazing, bifolding doors, and extensive views to the bushland backdrop. In contrast the courtyard-facing facades of the sleeping spaces over are more solid, with timber cladding and discrete window openings. Warm natural materials such as timber and stone tiling are focussed in the gathering spaces. Window and door joinery is similarly structured with hardwood used in the major public areas, reverting to aluminium in the less public zones. This delineates high maintenance, special zones from more pragmatic areas. On the street-facing building, a screen of timber and waist-height FC panels and a narrow deck in front of large sliding glass openings allow engagement with the street whilst protecting privacy. The house was awarded a commendation in the AIA Brisbane Regional Awards. The scheme provides a model for intergenerational living in the suburbs, and efficient use of a small lot.