Reading Room


Our clients were looking for a way to create a space that celebrated their love of books and at the same time worked with their west-facing property. 

The home evolved as a unique expression of the client and site. The site conditions include a west facing street frontage, steep cross fall, imposing neighbours and a long narrow footprint. Rather than perceive these as constraints we saw the setting as an opportunity to create a variety of spatial experiences. Courtyards punctuate the building and are used to negotiate level changes. The building form also reflects the topography of the site with a continuous roof falling from the rear of the site to the street. The home is wrapped in a screen that acts as a conceptual ‘dust jacket’, protecting it’s inhabitants and their treasured collection of books. Conceived as a journey through distinct but connected spatial ‘chapters’ the unfolding spaces conjure anticipation, mystery and delight. The robust and unassuming external palette conceals refined interiors. A compelling tension between restraint and quirkiness is expressed through colour and form.


The home is a collection of internal and external rooms in careful and choreographed relationship to each other and the surrounds. Minimising direct sunlight to the interiors was a key part of the clients brief and we managed this through the use of operable blinds, external shutters, metal screens and roof skylights. The position and sizing of these openings and devices contributed to a more sustainable solution in terms of natural daylighting, natural ventilation and yet still allowing vistas to landscapes and views. The simple external building form and fabric also provided a cost effective solution to resolving the site topography. Lightweight structure and cladding was adopted to maintain cost efficiency and allow the budget to be expended on bespoke interior details that the client could touch and feel on a daily basis.


2020 Houses Award Brisbane – Shortlisted – New House – Over 200 sqm

Photography: Christopher Frederick Jones