One Wybelenna, Brisbane, Australia
Shaun Lockyer Architects

One Wybelenna was a house born out of a remnant of a Robin Gibson cottage that existed on the site and was a bit of a landmark in the area. The design, inspired by the work of both Gibson (and Neutra in turn) is a contemporary re-interpretation of the modernist language and remains a narrative throughout the design down to the “orb” fireplace. The house enjoys a long, linear plan with all rooms designed to soak up winter sun and give direct pool and garden access for the long summers. The house, despite its size, has a strong sustainability agenda and includes turf roofs, 140,000L of water, 15KW of solar power, recycled materials (stone and timber) along with all the “first principal” design ideas that one would expect. A natural palette of zinc, tallowwood, slate and travertine create a robust aesthetic that aims toward a timeless architecture.

One Wybelenna, while a luxury house, has a strong sustainability agenda. Apart from the obvious ‘first principal’ approach to the design with regards to northern sun, cross flow ventilation and thermal mass, a number of more sophisticated ideas have been incorporated. The house has been thermally engineered and wind patterns mapped, turf roofs as well as 140,000L of water (in the reused shell of the old swimming pool), 15kw of solar power, recycled timber (and some of the stone) and low-e glass. 300 additional trees have also been planted in the waterway area.

The old Gibson cottage was a well known structure along Moggil Road that resonated with passers-by. The “sustained existence” of a stone pavilion in Gibson’s original location maintains the houses place in the local’s memory. Boundary fencing has also been pulled back off the street to give over a significant landscape zone to the public realm.

The clients were particularly concerned with preservation of habitat and reuse of original site materials whilst maintaining a contemporary, reinterpretation of the original architecture. To this end, the original swimming pool was reused as a water tank and all of the existing stone was reclaimed. The turf roof provides an ongoing habitat for a plover (native bird species) family originally occupying the site, whilst simultaneously reducing glare and allowing the house to merge within the preserved landscape.

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