Designed by m3architecture, Armstrong residence is located in Brisbane, Australia. The house is post war on a steep site with mature dense vegetation. As a south facing slope surrounded by trees, there was very little access to sunshine in winter. The deck, (stage 1-1998), is a remote structure to intercept winter sun. From the house it is a desirable destination – warm in winter and leafy in summer.
Stage 2 brief required two rooms for two young adults – daughters of the `client’. A concept was developed whereby two client groups were established; father daughter; mother daughter. As it was accepted that the length of time each daughter would remain at home was impossible to predict, each room was designed to be a bedroom at first, and then an office and studio for mum and dad respectively when vacated by the daughter(s). The concept signified the importance of this critical period in family life – the co-existence of 4 adults on the cusp if diminishing. It also gave opportunity to reflect on the changing needs of parents and children.
The conceptual framework saw the evolution of 3 main spaces. – A room in the garden – A room seamlessly part of the house – A connecting space
Other significant issues included; the treatment of the surfaces of the garden room to multiply the perception of the landscape, the preservation of the feeling of the open undercroft, reaction to the `build in under’ which too often is hampered by excavation and retaining costs and results in inhospitable spaces with disregard for the excavated edge(s), the introduction of an element to establish a release from the under croft in two directions and clarify (abstractly) the existence of cut earth in the remaining sub floor area; traditional `social planning’ with public spaces breaking down into semi-private, private, and very private.
The three interventions (deck, undercroft, garden room) occupy the backyard in very different ways, influencing each other and the existing house, establishing new micro-contexts.”