Inexperienced Home by Steendijk | ArchitectureAU
Positioned within the inside Brisbane suburb of Spring Hill, Inexperienced Home is the third venture designed by Brian Steendyk to occupy the identical part of slender road – and the second of them that Brian designed for himself. Comprising renovations of conventional Queensland homes, this assortment of neighbouring designs reveals the consistency of concepts in Brian’s observe over greater than twenty years, together with a real concern for preserving the suburb’s specific character as certainly one of Brisbane’s oldest residential areas. However Inexperienced Home additionally presents a departure: constructing on the teachings of earlier tasks, Brian approached the brand new home with extra willingness – and confidence – to discover bolder, extra expressive structure.
Because of this, this modestly scaled dwelling on a two-hundred-square-metre web site teems with concepts. Every half is crammed with novel design options that search simplicity and sustainability, whereas every room has its personal set of particulars and custom-designed fittings. It’s a full-scale experiment – a veritable testing floor for structure – wherein each piece is rethought from first rules. Concrete blocks are glued collectively, eliminating the necessity for mortar, and stainless-steel sunshades double as planter containers to create a inexperienced curtain of foliage that filters daylight. Unsurprisingly, the consequence doesn’t seem like anything in up to date Queensland residential structure. It eschews the notion of favor and sits other than latest Brisbane designs. What’s most spectacular about the home, nonetheless, is the best way wherein Brian has introduced its complicated mixture of concepts, areas and supplies collectively into a complete that’s greater than the sum of its components.
To no small extent, this unity is achieved by means of the intensive use of metal – a fabric that not often options so prominently in up to date Queensland homes. Certainly, the presence of metal is notable not solely due to the area’s lengthy and romantic affiliation with timber building, but additionally as a result of this conventional language has been supplanted in latest a long time by a up to date vernacular in concrete and masonry. However what’s fascinating about Inexperienced Home is the best way wherein metal is employed to reinvent conventional kinds, and to reinstate the thinness and lightness that was as soon as so attribute of structure in Queensland. In sensible phrases, metal permits a variety of structural and spatial options: the 2 bedrooms and attic areas within the present Eighteen Nineties timber cottage float above the open residing areas and bed room/library on the bottom flooring, that are unencumbered by construction. Likewise, the corten metal stair seems to hover weightlessly, connecting the bottom ranges whereas maximizing usable house with its slim 10-millimetre-thick partitions. A custom-designed spiral stair in even thinner sheet metal supplies entry to the loft and consumes minimal flooring space. As Brian quips, “metal makes magic occur.”
Metal additionally permits precision, and the elements of Inexperienced Home are designed with millimetre accuracy to benefit from each a part of the constructing and web site. This rigour and exactness is typical of Brian’s work, which might usually appear as if big items of business design. In fact, such precision calls for care and planning – it’s no shock that this home took three years to finish. It additionally establishes a strict and rational framework that brings the assorted new and previous components of the constructing into a posh complete. However the rigour that underpins the design just isn’t celebrated for its personal sake. On the contrary, it’s a means to take away or cut back the visible weight and muddle of construction, as an alternative shifting emphasis onto the qualities of the house and the richness of the fabric palette. Importantly, re-used hardwoods, timber joinery and brass counter tops are allowed to keep up their pure variations and patinas. They soften the severity of the metal and glass and contribute to the consolation and character of the interiors – areas which can be heat and straightforward to reside in, not regardless of the meticulousness of the design, however due to it.
These concepts culminate within the creation of an outside room, framed by a hovering metal portal, that protects the residing areas from rain and summer season solar whereas letting winter mild deep into the plan. If the notion of an “outside room” has grow to be one thing of a cliché in Queensland actual property, right here it’s given a novel expression with folded corten plates prolonged across the backyard to comprise each sky and panorama. Created from three-millimetre-thick metal sheet, the roof and partitions are solely self-supporting, utilizing folds to get rid of the necessity for extra construction. Their sculpted surfaces additionally play within the daylight, creating patterns of heat orange and darkish shadow that draw the attention by means of the home to the outside and prolong the perceived boundaries of the inside to the complete extent of the positioning. None of that is by probability. The consequences of sunshine on metal, and the discount of construction to the barest minimal, are calculated experiments executed with care and precision. It’s the similar exacting strategy that has formed each a part of this exemplary venture, demonstrating an intensification of spatial concepts and materials explorations developed over years. Greater than this, Steendijk’s Inexperienced Home can be an illustration of the inherent potential of the standard Queensland home itself, and its capability to be reimagined and remade.