Hawthorne Residence

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Harris, Hawthorne


Kieron Gait Architects


This family home is a reconfiguration of a post-war timber home in the inner suburbs of Brisbane.

The design aimed to provide new living spaces at the garden level – passive and connected to the landscape, with the existing home raised and utilised as bedrooms and private retreat space.

The tight-knit family have prioritised communal space over private and this is most evident upstairs where, rather than create four large separate bedrooms for the children, each child has a smaller private area with bed, desk, window seat and shelving.  These can be closed down to a single room or opened up in a shared double-room configuration.  In return this allows space for a communal living room and private roof garden to relax, hang out with friends and embed a set of family values that encourages sharing over the individual.


With a brief for robust and durable materials, the house is a palette of polished concrete floors and masonry walls, punctuated with elements of timber and views to the garden.  The living room has a concrete roof that doubles as a private roof garden for the children’s sleeping spaces above whilst providing a cooling layer to the spaces below.

The home is planned for efficiency and openings and systems designed to encourage passive ventilation and shading.

In a civic gesture, the house has no front fence and offers an open and welcoming garden to the street.  The front terrace is the perfect spot to catch the low winter morning sun with a cup of tea and say hello to the neighbours.

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