A Social Room - Kitchen Garden House by Owen Architecture
The Fisher & Paykel Series
Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Words Rose Onans

The Local Project presents, in collaboration with Fisher & Paykel, the Kitchen Garden house by Owen Architecture, a project that evolved through a process of story-telling to reconnect the home to its site.

Owen Architecture director Paul Owen explains that the feel and the story of a space is something that evolves and is part of a narrative that is created with the client. “When we meet the clients and present design ideas, we’re essentially getting them (and through our conversations with them) to imagine how their life would play out in the design,” he says. “In that sense, we think of the design discussion with the client as telling stories of how they might be living in the house.”

The clients were introduced to Owen Architecture by Toby Scott of Scott & Malloy, who specified the interior furnishings for the project. During the design process, Owen Architecture identified that the main living spaces in the house were detached from the site, meaning that the back yard was not used. “The primary thing that’s occurred is that the living spaces have been reprogrammed, whereby the main cooking and eating and living spaces are now on the ground in the backyard,” Paul explains.

In furnishing the living spaces, Toby says he drew on his knowledge of the clients’ personalities to bring colour and texture into the space. Pairing a brown leather armchair with a terracotta sofa and a pink rug stemmed from “knowing that they weren’t afraid to try something different,” he recalls. The round rug was a response to the round kitchen bench, which was itself an experimental move on the part of Owen Architecture.

“I’d been trying to get to design a round island bench table in projects for a while and Cam and Bree were the first clients that were brave enough to do it. I really wanted to try it out as a way of designing a kitchen that was a proper working kitchen but also a social one,” Paul reflects.

With this aim in mind, he explains they selected Fisher & Paykel appliances as they are “well detailed in a way that they contribute to the design and they’re not imposing or recalibrating the design, and it’s actually the case that in all projects our default product to specify is Fisher & Paykel,” he says.

An integrated fridge is seamlessly hidden within the timber cabinetry, however, a freestanding dual fuel cooker makes a statement in the space. Dan Varcoe, Fisher & Paykel Design Development Manager, says “our designers work tirelessly on this to fit within the kitchen space … so when they are integrated they do tuck away and they blend in with the kitchen, but when they are on show they really do look the part.”

Evolving through a process of story-telling, the Kitchen Garden House transforms an original Queenslander into a vibrant contemporary family home that is now open and connected to its environment.

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