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Clare House

Clare House 1991

This speculative house, in Buderim, Queensland, was designed as an economical alternative to the tailor-made, one-off house. To reduce construction costs and to allow a high degree of flexibility to the arrangement of interior spaces, the house was conceived of as a simple two-storey timber box of any length, framed and braced by plywood ‘fin’ walls along the perimeter. These structural fins form alcoves that create useful areas: to mark the entry, and for storage, workbenches and voids between the two floor levels. No internal walls are required for bracing or load bearing.

Because of the limited number of foundation points required, houses can be economically located across the contours, even on very steep sites, as was the case here, to take advantage of the landscape, sea views and the north-east aspect.

An open stair well and strategically located voids provide visual connections between floors and, importantly, aid cross-ventilation air movement and balancing of the natural lighting of the interior.

Low-cost materials (corrugated steel and painted fibre cement sheeting) are used for the external cladding. On the street side, deep overhangs and fixed timber battens provide sun control and privacy. On the opposite (north-east) side, which is quite private, the house can be opened to views and prevailing breezes.

The loose-fit, skeletal structure can be clad and subdivided according to site, program and chosen materials. Because internal walls are not load bearing, they can be easily moved to suit individual needs or the changing requirements of a family over time.

RAIA Awards

1992 Robin Boyd Award (National Award)
1992 Robin Dods Award
1992 Queensland Regional Commendation

Builder McLardy + Winch