Smallman Street Townhouses


Smallman Street townhouses are located near Bulimba’s Oxford Street. The local mixed fabric of traditional timber and tin homes, 6-pack unit blocks and modern Mc Mansions provides an eclectic context to respond to. 

While multi-residential in scale, the design relies heavily on domestic details to ground it within its site, context and sense of scale. The form of the building takes direct inspiration from a traditional Queenslander and is broken down to three vertical bands which respond to the activity within. These are defined by articulated and textured materials which further work to reduce the scale of the building. The ground floor is envisioned as an undercroft, contemporising the cool and flexible space typically located under Queenslanders.

Higher up the building, horizontal cladding and metal roof sheeting takes inspiration from the traditional ‘timber and tin’ traditions of weatherboard and metal roofing. The middle level is treated and detailed as an open and publicly engaging ‘verandah’ with generous outdoor spaces and large openings to the street while the more private upper level inhabits the simple gabled roof form.

A sub-tropical climatic response to the site has resulted in a building form that promotes passive cooling and heating effects. A combination of eaves, window hoods, screens and landscaping further protect glazing and openings from harsh sun exposure while further breaking down the scale of the building. The outdoor spaces are protected by a filigree timber balustrade while integrated planters introduce landscaping and greenery on to the building facade.


2020 AIA Queensland Architecture Awards – Commendation – Residential Architecture Multiple Housing

Photography: Christopher Frederick Jones