Animated and Vibrant – GT Mad House by Maytree Studios
Windsor, QLD, Australia

Photography Toby Scott & Cathy Schulser
Architecture Maytree Studios
Interior Design Maytree Studios
Words Bronwyn Marshall

The extension of GT Mad House is inspired by the want to protect and celebrate the storied contents of the home and create spaces dotted with colour and vibrancy. Maytree Studios responds to both the existing home and the sloping site with a stepped approach to propose a home animated by its many parts.

Nestled into the residential enclave of Windsor in Brisbane, GT Mad House navigates its site and existing conditions with an open and celebrated approach. The creation of a ‘jewellery box’ type extrusion to the rear of the previous home is both symbolic and gestural. As a form, the space created becomes an opportunity to express its contents while also encouraging a vibrancy of animated jewelled objects throughout. Sitting on a sloping allotment, the resulting approach sees a series of stepped motions across the site, subtly shifting the plane and volumes as they engage with the terrain, contained under the one shared roof. As a family home, key attention was taken to the control of noise and cross flow across the site, creating places of restful respite and climatic comfort. Maytree Studios embraces the creative energy of its clients and funnels that into a home that acts as an extension of them.

Sitting on a sloping allotment, the resulting approach sees a series of stepped motions across the site, subtly shifting the plane and volumes as they engage with the terrain, contained under the one shared roof.

Built by Petro Builders, the expansion of GT Mad House transforms the previous modest cottage formation on site into a contemporary and open home. The tension between open and closed elements is constantly at play and key to the design was integrating flexible spaces that could adapt and meld to functional requirements as needed. An emphasis on craft underpins the home and highly detailed elements like fixtures and fittings then elevate the tactile experiences within the home. While the existing house was refurbished lightly, the focus was on the new and ensuring it serviced the needs of its family. A connection to the garden and landscaped spaces was vital and allowing for cross ventilation, air flow and access to natural light was a crucial part of that.

While each person will always experience space differently, it is the underpinning principle of comfort that defines a home and encourages meaningful engagement. In response to its client, the building needed to be engaged with comfortably due to their sensitivity to sound and the use of hearing aids. Uniquely, the home needed to allow for lessened reverberation, and through dampening echo and select materiality and spatial planning, this was able to be achieved. Stepping up from the rear, the lower level houses a multi-functional space, and up half a flight the open living space reveals itself. In the use of heighted volumes, this extension and box formation creates a place of contemplation and reflection, while also imbedding a calming feel at the same time.

In extending and expanding to its rear, the unique space created both brings its occupants together, while also celebrating their unique nuances.

GT Mad House combines the natural with the robust and beautifully embraces its site. In extending and expanding to its rear, the unique spaces created both bring its occupants together while also celebrating their unique nuances.

Published 8 March, 2021
Photography  Toby Scott & Cathy Schulser
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