From the architect:
East Room House is located in an established suburb in Brisbane, Australia’s inner north-east amongst traditional character homes. Instinctively, the architecture of the house draws on queues from its vernacular context.
The architecture of the traditional Queensland house was driven by a need to address specific subtropical climatic conditions but also a necessity to adopt practical construction techniques that were responsive to the Brisbane terrain. The site of the East Room House is characterised by a gradually sloping terrain that falls away from the street.
The entry level of the East Room House creates an elevated platform that establishes a datum that aligns with street level and in doing so, engages with the street. This monolithic platform constructed from exposed concrete, provides the base that bears the lightweight delicate interpretation of the Queensland home above. The concrete form of the entry plane carves out spaces for living, the pool and vertical circulation, contrasting to the materiality of the lightweight glass and steel pavilion above.
The house is organised along a North to South circulation spine. The street frontage bears a Northern orientation. The Southern orientation reveals spectacular expansive views of the city from the main living spaces and kitchen. Spaces west of the circulation spine are allocated to stairs and pragmatic utility areas, shielding the eastern living spaces from the Western aspect. Garage, guest accommodation and additional living spaces are tucked away within the lower basement level of the house below and within the platform.
The program is arranged around an outdoor room located on the Eastern side of the circulation spine. It creates a central court that reveals itself from all areas of the house. This outdoor room allows Eastern morning light to permeate the rear of the house, which is otherwise dominated by a Southerly aspect.
The mono-pitch slopping roof and timber clad ceiling shelters the entire pavilion and follows the inclination of the site. Large sliding doors almost 5m in height allow the boundaries of the building envelope to blur with the landscape and allow occupants to enjoy the subtropical climate beyond its walls.
Contemporary abstractions of the traditional Queenslander are revealed through the materiality of the house. Vertical groove timber planks are replaced with glass planks, which form defining vertical rhythm in the clerestory. There is a dominant rhythm apparent in the vertical timber cladding applied to the walls below and the timber ceiling treatment above. Walkways akin to the wrap around veranda also allow for maintenance and cleaning of the glazing.
The rectangular floor plate is defined by a series of steel columns in a cruciform profile that form a colonnade, supporting the screen and roof. A fine metal mesh screen that encloses the veranda forms a thin veil, mitigating light and views, alluding to the traditional latticework that screened the vernacular house.
Sustainability considerations include the provision of 15kw of solar panels on the roof, with the future capacity for battery storage to be added in a dedicated storeroom near the garage. Glazing is low E performance and is heavily screened on the Western facade. The clerestory glass planks are double glazed. Whilst a 25,000 underground water tank facilitates water conservation on the site.