This distinctive home in Brisbane’s New Farm will probably need no introduction to Australian architecture aficionados. Known as the ‘D House’, it has been published widely, and has won many awards, including the Royal Australian Institute of Architects National Award and The Robin Boyd Award for best residential architecture in 2000.
The D house is not a large home – it’s a modest, perfectly proportioned abode, designed by revered Brisbane architecture firm Donovan Hill, for their client and friend Geraldine Cleary, a researcher in health and social policy. Geraldine first purchased the property in 1991, subdividing it and re-building during Brisbane’s period of urban renewal in 1994.
As all architects and those who commission their services know, designing a new home from scratch is a very complex problem-solving puzzle! Considerations of scale, proportion, light, functionality and of course the dreaded council restrictions (!!) all come into play… and then on top of everything, it has to look good! When asked why she enlisted Donovan Hill to design her home, Geraldine explains –
‘I approached Timothy Hill, who I knew socially, because he was interested in my brief, which spoke to proportions of rooms, flexibility of use, management of light and heat, appreciation of the positives of living close to the activity of a busy street, council preference for ‘timber and tin workers cottage styles’ as the only markers of federation values at the time, as well as tight budgetary constraints!’ explains Geraldine. ‘Having lived in the 1897 cottage on the original block, I had been able to experience the deficiencies of the workers cottage for the climate, orientation, privacy, acoustics etc, even though the house was full of charm in other ways’ she says. via thedesignfiles