BECKETT HOUSE

Project description
The brick house was constructed on a level site on a large outer-suburban property north of Brisbane. Two wings form an L-shaped plan around a central courtyard closed on the third side by a garage, and partially screened on the remaining side by two raking brickwork walls flanking the entry path.
The main wing faces north and accommodates the parents' bedroom suite, with associated courtyards and verandah to the west, the primary space of the sitting-dining room in the centre, and kitchen and family areas to the east.
Across the centre of this primary wing, along the north-south axis, is a zone defined by a tiled floor surface that links the courtyard, sitting room and verandah to form one large entertainment area by opening the wide sliding doors to the exterior.
A second zone across this wing is established via the section on the east-west axis, so that a lower ceiling defines the circulation and secondary areas (such as the entry and kitchen) within the greater volume of the primary space.
In the main wing, the cross-section generates much of the play of light and space. Sunlight from the north is drawn through skylights deep into the house towards the south, across the dark timber and brickwork. The geometry of the roof section, with its deep Oregon timber beams, operates at both major and minor scales. The minor scale results in smaller gables in the main bedroom and family room, while the major scale provides the larger sitting and dining room with the space of the greater structure.
In many parts of the house, the zone between inside and outside is layered. The eave overhang protects the line of insect screening at the outer edge of the flanking verandah area and shades the glazed walls to the interior. The peripheral glazing, tinted to preserve privacy and further reduce glare, is sheltered and opens for cross|-ventilation.
The children's wing accommodates the laundry, bathroom, three bedrooms, and alcove study rooms along the passageway fitted with desks and shelves. Each bedroom opens via sliding doors onto the east verandah and surrounding bushland outside as well as onto study alcoves in the circulation zone.
The roof section allows for high-level, accessible storage space over the kitchen and children's bedrooms.

Project intentions
Designed in the late 1960s, not long after the prize-winning Cluster House project (1965), this larger project offered opportunities for testing and developing ideas presented in the competition. The architectural intention was a synthesised design that included comprehensive site and floor plan zoning, climate-responsive strategies and integrated exposed construction.
The form, plan and section were also generated to offer qualities deriving from coexistence of opposite conditions. The dark, textured brickwork of the floor and walls contrasts with the glazed walls and opalescent perspex roofing panels. The courtyard enclosures contrast spatially with open terraces onto the bushland garden, particularly in the main wing.
Internally, the spatial quality is created by contrasting the low ceiling height of the darker peripheral zone with the height of the lofted space of the sitting and family room. The skylights of the central zone amplify the contrast in light levels and between open and closed spaces.


RUMAH MINIMALIS

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