The perfect small lot: A home of contrasts
Purpose-built for a retired Queensland couple, Flinders is the perfect example of contemporary small lot living. And having just clinched a regional architecture award for this home, designers Base Architecture have proved they were on to a winner.
Flinders, in Queensland’s Brighton, was completed last year – to the brief of simple, no-fuss living, suitable for a couple to spend their retirement years.
As well as the challenges that come with a small lot and a limited budget, it would have been criminal if the house didn’t make the most of the bay views it has from the front.
Bucking the home design trendsShawn Godwin, director of Base Architecture, said: “This house goes against a few traditions. Rather than putting the driveway in front of the house, we decided to send it along the side, leaving the whole façade of the house to enjoy the views of the bay.”
The clients had a lot of unique, older furniture pieces that they wanted to take into their new home.
“We had to make sure that these pieces of furniture had a home,” explained Godwin. “Then, once we knew where things were going, we made sure the windows worked around where the furniture would sit.
“It’s a very different style of furniture to what you would typically put in a contemporary home like this, but for us it was important to find a home for each piece. It’s very contrasting and makes the home really interesting.”
A simple home designWith the brief for a simple, low maintenance home – with a budget of $450,000 – Base Architecture designed a two-storey house that enables the occupants to live entirely downstairs.
“The house has an upper level, with two bedrooms and a bathroom, but this is really only to enable their children and grandchildren to stay,” explained Godwin.
Downstairs there is an outdoor room and a living room, dining room and kitchen just inside that. Behind that is the laundry room, master bedroom and ensuite.
With the house being the width of the living room all the way to the back, Godwin said they were able to maximise on cross ventilation and getting light into the house.
Keeping it lightThe site is out on a bay so, from a maintenance perspective, the architects looked at using materials that would work in tandem with the conditions of the area, and would be low maintenance.
“We used lightweight materials and local timbers,” said Godwin. “We used off-the-shelf products that don’t have the appearance of being mass-produced – James Hardie PrimeLine® weatherboard, for example. ”
Base Architecture also took a different approach to the roof design.
Godwin said: “Because there is a lot of salt build-up in the area, as it’s close to the water, we took away the ridges of the roof and came up with a fairly simple, single pitched roof.”
These clever – but simple – design solutions were recognised earlier this month when Flinders won a regional commendation at the 2012 Brisbane Regional Architecture Awards in the Residential Architecture: Houses category.