Herston gardenhouse

DesignerErhard Rathmayr
PrizeHonorable Mention
Project LinkView
Entry Description

RECONCEPTUALISING CONTEMPORARY INNER-CITY LIVING Like most capital cities in Australia, Brisbane recognises that the urban sprawl is not the solution to cater for the rapid growth of its population. Searching for a sustainable solution to this issue, refresh* has developed a model for 'infill-developments' that sensitively increases density of urban areas. This model has been branded ‘my gardenhouse’. Such infill-developments inhabit sometimes-unused urban spaces, and through utilising existing infrastructure, make them highly sustainable. The Herston gardenhouse is one of these projects where a clever concept has transformed an inner-city house into either two separate dwellings or a multi-generation house. Because of the uphill sloping site and inclination of more than five-and-a-half meters towards the rear boundary, this project adopts an unconventional strategy of positioning bedrooms on the ground floor and living areas on the upper floor. This configuration provides fantastic outlook for all living areas, while also maintaining privacy for the existing character-house and retaining the neighbour's aspect. The spaces of the house are structured through an S-shaped section, which creates south-facing private yards for both bedrooms on the ground floor, and a north-facing living room on the upper floor, positioned to compliment the aspect. The design uses a large sliding door, in replace of a deck, to open the entire northern side of the upper-floor living, thus opening the entire room and transforming it into an outdoor space, when opened. Sustainability was a very important focus throughout this project, not only in using established city infrastructure, but also in construction. Key considerations were: the very compact floor plan, passive solar design, minimising earthworks and the use of building materials with sustainable credentials.