Three House


- by John Ellway Architect

New house Brisbane, Qld

John Ellway’s Three House can be found on one of the beautiful streets that launch off the ridges into the tumbling topography of the inner suburb of Paddington, Brisbane. John met clients Boon and Sarah in early 2017 after a trip to Penang, the small island off the north-west coast of Malaysia where the clients had spent their childhoods and where their parents still live. Boon and Sarah are both excellent cooks and often tempted John with treats inspired by flavours and memories of their time in Penang as they met to discuss the project. The emotional touchstone­s of their new house quickly became clear: a generous space for the making and shared enjoyment of food, a place for their parents to stay comfortabl­y during long visits and a shared affinity for the breezy lyricism of South-East Asian architectu­re.

The site extends across the saddle of a small gully, while an exclusion zone for overland stormwater and undergroun­d services cuts across it. This set unequivoca­l lateral and vertical limits on the position of the new house. Anticipati­ng the requiremen­ts of the local “character code,” but never being subservien­t to them, John deployed a series of three square pavilion forms with pyramidal roofs. These steeply pitched forms acknowledg­e the language

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