Searching for a sustainable alternative to the urban sprawl, REFRESH* has developed a model of infill-development that sensitively increases density of urban areas, which is branded ‘my gardenhouse’. Located in a Brisbane inner-city suburb, this project is an example of how such a gardenhouse has transformed the often unutilised backyard into a multi-generational home to cater for different life stages.
Following the slope of the land, the sequence of indoor, outdoor and hybrid spaces offer either integration and connectivity, or separation and privacy, to allow for maximum flexibility. The neighbourhood is characterised by traditional Queensland cottage-style houses, of which many overtime, have been renovated and extended. In consideration of the context, the design embraced traditional materials, including corrugated metal, weatherboards and timber elements, while simultaneously expressing a contemporary shape.
To achieve the brief within a small budget and maintain architectural integrity, strategic direction was used to build a cost-effective and innovative solution. One strategy was the double use of spaces, which lead to combine the kitchen island bench with the dining table, and incorporate the laundry within the powder room joinery. Another solution was to use burnished concrete to avoid costly tiling, polishing of the slab or form-ply to enable the design of custom joinery, while avoiding the usually costly finishing.