Architects: Richard Kirk Architects
Location: Brisbane, Australia
The Arbour House, located on the Bulimba Reach of the Brisbane River, is a study in siting and intricate articulation to yield views and landscape connections.
The long 13 meter wide site is located between two key public spaces; an established Arbour of fig trees to the south, and a public riverfront boardwalk to the north. Unlike other riverfront houses, the new dwelling is sited a respectful distance from the river edge, preserving an 80 year old Poinciana tree and historic public views from the boardwalk of the adjoing heritage listed dwelling.
The large setback creates a platform for a private garden under the shade of the Poincianna canopy. The levels of the garden platform and the Arbour, establish the two datums for the setout of public and private spaces for the dwelling. The public riverfront living levels, to the north, are adjacent to the garden platform, while the living spaces are elevated above the garage to look into the canopy of the Arbour, to the south. The private bedroom spaces of the upper level afford views of the Arbour tree canopy and river yet privacy from the public river boardwalk.
The dwelling adopts a courtyard typology with two pavillions linked by a large double height stairwell and external courtyard. The form is conceptualised as an object carved from a solid volume of the allowable building area with the courtyard providing a protective volume from which to cross ventilate each of the spaces of the house and to allow the different spaces of the house connection but also discrete and subtle separation.