Balanced Brutalism - Nano House by Shaun Lockyer Architects
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Through its bold materiality, Nano House gives a nod to Brutalism that is softened by warm timber and landscaped elements. Shaun Lockyer Architects has envisioned a series of pavilions, connecting and providing a sense of relief in parallel.
Challenging the typical residential response to site, Shaun Lockyer Architects explores materiality and form in a way that shows an expression of its origin and a clear connection to place. The home is essentially broken down into a series of pavilions that all seek to occupy differing functionality and come together for cross-habitation. These pavilions are then interrupted by a series of landscaped elements, creating courtyards both internally between rooms and at the front and rear of the property, all encouraging a sense of engagement and interaction beyond the traditional interface of the façade.
Both owned and built by Nano Constructions, the fact that the builder was also the client allowed for an experimentation and expression of materiality executed in a way that portrays a sense of craftsmanship throughout. Being a somewhat challenging concept to achieve, the collaboration between architect and builder was key, together with a shared commitment to challenging the typical. The materiality utilised offers a nod to Brutalism, in which the joins and junctions of the structure are expressed, rather than concealed. Key to this style is the expansive use of concrete and the robust sturdiness that it embodies.
Shaun Lockyer Architects explores materiality and form in a way that shows an expression of its origin and a clear connection to place.
Warm timber softens both the exterior and internal spaces, creating variation temperature and texture within the materials palette that offers a sense of relief. This same timber is applied internally to integrated joinery elements, the kitchen and a feature wall within the living area. Combined with natural stone, steel and aluminium windows, and black metal sheeting to the upper levels leads to a sense of balance. The resulting concrete and blockwork base on the lower level offers a foundation to the lighter-weight materiality used on the upper floor.
Focused around a sense of connection, both between the pavilions and landscaped courtyards, Nano House offers a less traditional residential typology. Although challenging the traditional residential form and floor plan, the planning and clustering of certain functional zones remains consistent with contemporary rigor. The living and more active areas are all grouped in the same zone, and the more spaces are then set alongside one another. A deliberate sense of open and closed or retreat areas has been maintained but expressed in a more playful manner. Shaun Lockyer Architects has brought together notions of movement and flow and created an operable home that speaks to its individual client, creating an engaging use of an inner urban site.