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Balaam Residence
by Arkhefield



Conceptual Framework "To design a family home that explored the opportunities within architecture". We were challenged by a very public realm within which to build a house while trying to reconcile the idiosyncratic issues of view, privacy, security and sanctuary. The house presents a heavily articulated and screened façade to the north and west while "peeling" back to the city views over the river to the south. Solid, playful zinc walled elements juxtapose the light weathering timber "follies" which serve different programmatic needs within the house. The clearly extroverted pool conspicuously cantilevered over the entry is the centre piece for life, play and drama within the house. Public Benefits Buildings should contribute to the public realm that they occupy. We believe this house animates the street, the river boardwalk (both with form and sculpture) and is hopefully part of a broadening dialogue of residential architecture in Brisbane and abroad. Relationship of Built form to Context. The form is a manifestation of the needs of the house and constraints of the site. Solid walls present to the east while the house peels back layers to the south west. In response and consultation with its neighbor, an open "garden zone" provides respite to the otherwise built up environs. The scale of the house should be considered within the broader higher density context. Program Resolution Multiple levels within the design accommodate the needs of kids, parents and living. The house is zoned such that the often discordant needs of a large growing family can be accommodated in a complimentary

and considered way. This gives human scale to the house and allows one to feel ownership of space. The first floor level accommodates the bulk of living needs including the outdoor living and pool. Integration of Allied Disciplines This house involved a significant input of consultants and services. The seamless integration of air-conditioning, extraction, ventilation, home automation and security involved countless people and considered strategies. The intention for these systems was to simplify the use of the house through technology rather than complicate it. Cost/ Value Notwithstanding a healthy budget, considerable effort has been made to rationalize structure, finishes, process and mechanisms to contain costs and limit expense on maintenance in the future. Money has been spent to employ systems that can improve living conditions and control environmental impacts. The house was built on budget. Sustainability While this house may not fit the typical “ESD” image a number of considerations were made, namely: Rain water harvesting, solar hot water, passive “heat stack” cross ventilation strategy, solar control glass, operable louvers, shutters and blinds on solar clocks to limit use of air-conditioning. Thermal mass and low maintenance, recycled, materials were all a consideration. Response to Client and User Needs Our client wanted a unique piece of architecture that could enhance family life and not be precious. Feedback from the client is that the house has achieved this aspiration while providing privacy and sanctuary from the otherwise urban and public environment.

Hamilton, QLD
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.Project Team
Design architect: Shaun Lockyer
Project manager: Blades Project Management
Developer: Hamilton Stage 2
Civil consultant: Bligh Tanner
Electrical consultant: James Design
Hydraulic consultant: James Design
Landscape consultant: JW Concepts/ Arkhefield
Interior designer: Arkhefield
Acoustic consultant: Bang & Olufsen
Quantity consultant: Gray Robinson Cottrell
Communications consultant: CTI
Builder: Hutchinson Builders
Documenter: Kerry Condon
Documenter: Lucy Haynes
Documenter: Justin Boland
Documenter: Brad Ellis
Documenter: Jennekin Dicks
Documenter: Jami Elliott
Mechanical Engineer: James Design
Photographer: Shaun Lockyer
Structural Engineer: Bligh Tanner
Building surveyor: PMM

Photographs by Arkhefield, text by Arkhefield

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects