Three Brick Pavilion

For the Boral Competition, we have taken the idea of the typical Australian house and thought about its future. Who will live there and how will they live?  What elements of traditional houses need to be revisited or reinterpreted? 

With the population growing and the largest demographic increase being with single women over 50 we propose the return of the granny flat as a necessary part of the Australian home. Traditionally the granny flat was located at the rear of the block.  We have positioned it at the front allowing the front yard and street to be activated during the day.  This location also encourages flexibility in the use of the space – granny flat, office, and studio.

It goes without saying that Australians love the indoor/outdoor lifestyle and by engaging with a garden oriented design our relationship to the outdoors is enhanced.  The house is divided into 3 pavilions.  This allows the gardens to be spread across the site providing a series of landscape rooms and enabling the retention of the existing tree to form the ‘backyard’ in the middle of the site. It also deals directly with passive solar design principles.  By separating the main living volumes all living spaces receive direct north light.  All rooms open directly to the outside via a transitional screened and covered deck.  The deck extends the hardwood timber flooring from inside to outside.  The sun, light, views and relationships between spaces are enhanced.

The provision of productive gardens is another key to the future of the Australian home.  Veggie gardens, chooks, potting shed, and 2 greenhouses allow the typical family to cultivate their own food where desired. We have favoured this over provision for a car. The landscape is a series of folded terraces negotiating the slope of the land between the street and the park.  Along the edge of each fold the earth is retained and a garden bed, veggie patch, lawn or paved area is defined.

The greenhouses are not just growing spaces – they are used as entries and internal links and they work to mediate the internal temperature. They also provide additional light and ventilation to the more solid volumes.  Carefully design timber screens ensure they do not overheat in summer but can allow warmth and sunlight in during winter.

Along with a strong adoption of passive design principles appropriate to the Melbourne climate and the integrated use of the selected Boral products, the result is an inventive house that responds to the needs and desires of the modern family.