Located in a verdant Brisbane gully, near the river in Brisbane’s inner southern suburbs, this small house seeks to take full advantage of its secluded site and intimate views over the lush sub-tropical vegetation. By its location in the lower lying areas of the suburb and being close to the river, the site is subject to severe flooding in periods of intense rainfall. The need to raise the living areas above flood level whilst also retaining significant existing trees on the small site influenced the decision to arrange the house over 3 levels, maintaining a small footprint.
The lower floor under the flood level accommodates cars, storage and rainwater tanks. Access to the main floor is by a long bridge across the gully with views to both the north and east over adjoining gardens, providing large living areas, study, guest room, kitchen, laundry and guest bathroom with the living areas opening onto a large north facing deck with stairs connected to the garden. The upper level which overlooks the large, almost two storey high living spaces includes a generous master bedroom with bay window toward the river views and a mezzanine studio.
The character of the house and the method of construction responds to the particular physical characteristics of the site including the fragile nature of the soil conditions where the house straddles both a stormwater and sewer line, the close proximity of neighbours to the west and the dense tree canopy providing high levels of shade over the site. More specifically, the house employs a lightweight construction system supported on a grid of steel columns to the lower level with a hybrid timber and steel frame to the upper levels, clad externally generally with black stained plywood to diminish the apparent bulk of the house.