A Fitting Addition – Maison by Frank Developments, Graya and Joe Adsett
As a welcomed offering in its New Farm location in Brisbane, Maison combines the luxury of expanded living with custom detailing to make the most of its position overlooking both the city and river. A collaborative effort, Frank Developments, Graya and Joe Adsett Architects bring years of local knowledge to the helm of the project.
Expanding in popularity, New Farm is undoubtably becoming a hotspot for development within Brisbane, encouraging the best in design and hospitality to come together as an exemplar for the city’s future. One such insertion is Maison, a multi-level development where each home occupies an entire floor, each stretching some 240 square metres with views towards the city, the river and the immediate area of New Farm. Coming from luxury home backgrounds, both Graya and Frank Developments saw Maison as an opportunity to collaborate on a larger development and hone their years of experience and knowledge of local homeowners’ needs. “We wanted to bring our high-end home designs into the unit space in Brisbane’s best suburb,” says Rob Gray, Managing Director of Graya, “and utilising the corner allotment and its connected views was an important part of that story.”
“When we saw the site, we knew this was a great opportunity to utilise the exposed corner and create a building that was unique and that could talk to the local context,” says Frank Licastro, Managing Director of Frank Developments. “We wanted to develop the perfect luxury sky home that encompassed an entire level per residence, capturing views.” Curving at its edges, there’s a sculptural, soft quality to the overall form, which reacts to the casual and coastal feel of the area. Solid masonry elements feel like disks stacked on top of one another, while also breaking up the overall mass. “We love the look of solid off-form concrete,” Frank says, “so it was introduced to create the floating planter beds – these have a second purpose to act as the sun hoods, which protect each floor from the elements.” He adds that integrating curated gardens into the development became an important part of establishing these new luxury homes in place and connecting them to context. “Our main driver was pushing the building design to talk to the tree-lined New Farm streets.”
Each level comprises its own four-bedroom home, with access to uninterrupted views on all sides to reinforce the feeling of floating above the land and cityscape below. Rob describes how, “unlike a traditional unit building and instead much like a luxury home in the sky, we used extensive glazing to provide natural light and ventilation on all three sides to allow each of the units to feel like homes.” An integral part the Queensland lifestyle is being able to open up a home to allow for natural breezes and ventilation. “We worked very hard to create a building that breathes,” Frank explains. It would also have been remiss to not reference the famed Queenslander style in some form, acknowledging the elevated and open lightness of the traditional single dwellings dotted around Brisbane. Maison is its own modern interpretation. “The timber plank form pattern throughout the concrete was created to pay homage to the surrounding timber weatherboard Queenslander homes,” Frank says, “while internally, we have continued the natural look throughout with timbers and natural stones.”
“The subtropical landscaping veil and soft architectural curves respond in a contemporary and timeless manner to the unique surrounding environment.” (Frank Licastro)
Also taking inspiration from other similar climates and their interpretation of luxury living, Singapore became a key point of reference in how the form evolved, the integration of landscape and the mechanics of how the development functioned. The open feel of the homes embraces the living greenery, filling each of the residences with natural air and access to sunlight while creating outdoor spaces that can easily be occupied throughout the day. “The subtropical landscaping veil and soft architectural curves respond in a contemporary and timeless manner to the unique surrounding environment,” Frank reflects. “The seamless transition from indoor and outdoor living spaces are framed with mature gardens, as we wanted to transform the curvaceous form into a living, breathing work of art