Newport Houses

Two homes with distinctive personalities show just what’s possible when high-functioning design infiltrates the suburbs Brisbane / Australia / 2020

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5 Love 675 Visits Published

At first glance, Newport Houses appear as one generous waterfront home – rich in contemporary expression – occupying two pairs of blocks on the waterfront, near Redcliffe, Qld.
 
Look closer, and a delicate balance in autonomy and communal living gives rise to a multi-generational masterpiece that is, indeed, two separate homes.
 
A subtle two-metre boundary void and an elegant break in the gentle-sloped parasol roof is all that distinguishes them. 
 
It is far from the typical brief collaborators and long-time friends Michael Bailey (Open Architecture Studio) and Jasper Brown (Jasper Brown Architects) had laid before them in the past, but one they eloquently untangled with ingenuity.
 
The client couple required an entertainer’s home for themselves and a separate, more discreet house for one of their mothers.
 
At any time, the houses could be split, fenced and sold. However, for now, the primary objective is a multi-generational place and a place to live well.
 
At the heart of the plan is a communal courtyard – a collective green space that brings light and views to the bedrooms, whilst providing a space for the clients’ sibling dogs to socialise.
 
A shared office opens to the courtyard and allows mother and son to run their family businesses.  The bedroom and office wing – nicknamed ‘The West Wing’ by the architects and client – is accessible from both houses and offers views across the courtyard to the water through the living spaces.
 
There is an undeniable social focus to these two houses than you might not otherwise find in two houses that sit side by side.
 
The design offers a duality in function – spaces to come together and places to retreat in privacy and solitude.
 
An adventurous, volumetrically explorative spatiality exists to the main dwelling. Meanwhile, there is a softer, more intimate sentiment to the smaller, secondary house.
 
Both homes draw on a shared palette of neutral tones, natural stone and timber, with bursts of eccentricity and an abundance of light. The main house has a sunken living space, a media room, with a bedroom retreat occupying the entire first floor level.
 
A deep-set lounge in marshmallow pink leather draws the water into the house, while lashings of copper bounce warmth around the living area.
 
The wet-edge pool is delicately tucked under the roof and blends seamlessly into the lake to appear as part of the topography of the landscape.
 
This means the water doesn't end at the edge of the lake. It becomes part of the house.
 
When you sit in the lounge, your feet are below the level of the pool, and you're surrounded by water on to two or three sides.
 
This layered terrain with multiple vantage points to the water is replicated elsewhere throughout the main house.
 
The corridor connecting the ‘West Wing’ communal space is punctuated by a clean and austere rhythm of skylights. A large quadrangular piece of floating stone accentuates the void between the more private realm and the communal spaces.
 
The architects’ ambition was for richness in both spatial and material thresholds.
 
Newport Houses occupy 1568 sqm in a new Stockland development.

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    At first glance, Newport Houses appear as one generous waterfront home – rich in contemporary expression – occupying two pairs of blocks on the waterfront, near Redcliffe, Qld. Look closer, and a delicate balance in autonomy and communal living gives rise to a multi-generational masterpiece that is, indeed, two separate homes. A subtle two-metre boundary void and an elegant break in the gentle-sloped parasol roof is all that distinguishes them.  It is far from...

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