House of Orange

House of Orange

This original Queenslander has a secret; beyond the traditional street frontage isa flexible and fun contemporary space engaging with its lush northern garden.

Brisbane’s inner residential areas are characterised by an appealing blend of elderly timber houses, steeply sloping terrain and lush subtropical vegetation. The House of Orange responds to the current urgent urban challenge to intensify inner urban population density while retaining and respecting these qualities.

The program was to create a practical, small, and beautiful living environment for a family of five, to maximise the rear northern aspect and to connect the house to the north and garden. The clients appreciated the scale, atmosphere and detailing of the original rooms, and the history and cultural value of the building.

The scale and volume of the original rooms became the basic units or “building blocks” of the scheme. This strategy respects the original, and creates a comfortable and homogenous relationship between spaces new and old. Smallness is a virtue here, and this along with the maximum retention and reuse of existing structure and materials, passive climatic design (no air conditioning), recycled and low embodied energy materials and finishes, results in comfort and very low operational energy. The original template of axial and symmetrical planning - the scale, view lines and circulation patterns - is respected, while the choreography of levels creates dynamic spatial relationships and a powerful interrelationship with the garden.

The house was awarded an Australian Institute of Architecture  State Award in 2008.

Project Sheet

Project Summary

William and Mary
Brisbane, QLD
Floor area
Original value