The Lockyer Residence is a small, contemporary extension onto a post war house in Bardon, a heavily treed and hilly fringe suburb in Brisbane. Shaun Lockyer of Shaun Lockyer Architects designed the extension for himself and his family. The design attempts to balance and contrast the context of the existing building and to determine the essence what is needed for accommodation to create an "engaging but practical and economical outcome".
The extension is essentially a 'pod' added onto the end of a post war house which, while largely leaving the original house in tact, allows for the overall outcome to be rearranged. The architecture is unapologetic in its overt, contemporary nature that sits in stark contrast to the original. However the original proportions and integrity of the cottage are left in tact to preserve the virtue of both.
The planning, layout and architecture of the space is about the family, the connection to the landscape and the engagement with the sky. The space was to address the cold winters and to allow for increased summer breezes, both of which were inadequate in the original cottage.
High Craft, Low Cost
The extension was an experiment in achieving a qualitative outcome at a very low cost. The process afforded a relatively high degree of craft and joy in what is essentially a very simple, easy to construct little box.
The design of this house is all about creation of a simple, cost effective 'pod' that needed to accommodate the needs of a young family that had outgrown the original cottage. The other core function of the extension was to improve the connection to the landscape, engage with the sky and to provide a more climatically comfortable place to live, using the minimum resources possible to achieve this. The space is about joy.
The New Lantern
The retention of the old cottage preserves cultural and architectural identity and more basically public expectation. The contemporary extension, while highly visible from the street, is partly concealed by the large tree on the site and gives over the landscape zone to the public realm. The house is highly animated at night forming a 'lantern' that creates a sense of joy in the street for all.
Old and New
The form of the extension is highly contrasted while the material and colors play a more sympathetic role by referencing the original. The extensive use of glass to the street allows for a minimal palette of materials to be expressed and reinforces the idea of old and new.
Laying it Out
The need to be highly economical and sustainable, as well as being able to live in the house while building, determined a large degree of the planning. The extension houses the primary living area, kitchen and flexible room that functions as a study, guest bed and in the longer term, the main bed.
The outcome of this project is a reflection of a supportive and positive building process where the client and architect are one and the builder has had along association with the architect. Trust was there and the process allowed for boundaries to be pushed but in a cost effective and efficient way. The process was collaborative, experimental at times but cost effective and a great deal of fun.
There was a concerted effort in this design to address first principal design as there was no budget for 'bells and whistles'.
"By virtue of having lived on the site for 6 years, we understood the sun, breezes, views etc which allowed us to tailor the space to make best use of light, air and amenity. Recycled and FSC timber (mostly), energy lighting, high spec insulation and fans were used. There is no air-conditioning." -- Shaun Lockyer Architects
Where possible the house has limited the use of applied materials. The ceiling under the mezzanine is the structural floor (as with the entry space) which not only shows off the structure but reduces the amount of resources used. The external cladding is also an environmental ply product rather than cement or fibre based product.
The space has also been designed to collect as much winter sun as possible to improve occupant comfort through the cooler winter months. All the material removed prior to building has been reused on the completed extension.
The challenge for this Shaun Lockyer Architects was to design a very small but sustainable space that could transform the use of a small house to meet the needs of a growing family. Allowing for flexibility in the brief and spaces to allow the house to 'evolve' into the future was critical. Consideration of housing aging parents (abroad) and dealing with future needs of teenage kids all played a factor in the design, which so far is working out very well!