Spring Hill, Brisbane
On a tight inner city residential block measuring 10x20 metres the 1875 worker's cottage has been re-engineered to accommodate 21st century living while preserving the historic nature of Spring Hill for future generations. In the adaptation, the weatherboard and timber cottage was raised a half-storey and a concrete floor was laid beneath. This created a private courtyard and expanded the compact living space, blurring distinctions between indoor and outdoor spaces. Constructed from concrete, the lower section symbolically ties the building inextricably to the earth and the past, while the clerestory windows that wrap around the home punctuate the old and new additions to the house, which at night create the effect that the cottage is floating above the additions on a bed of light. An underground water tank provides water to the wet areas and the garden, photo voltaic cells generate electricity, and a solar hot-water system provides heated water all year round. Cross-ventilation draws breezes upwards from the central staircase to the attic during warmer months. The overhang to the rear northern facade edits the summer sun while allowing the winter sun to warm the burnished concrete slab for passive heating in winter.