Winner: Gabriel Poole House of the Year 2022 Sunshine Coast Institute of Architecture award
The Ridgewood house exemplifies a considered and rigorous response to site and its subtropical context. The planning regime demonstrates a skilful organising strategy along a contour of an extremely challenging site. An existing shed bought back to life as a studio workspace and tool/machinery shed is re-clad in galvanised iron to form a distinctive reading of the broader contextual relationship with place. The conceptual development of the parti, with rainforest as walls, dissipates enclosure to the purity of platform and protective shelter. Organised along a circulation spine that connects two linked parallel wings to the external condition, the internal spaces provide simple retreat and connection to the terrain the building settles into. Prospect and refuge is bracketed by the escarpment that shelters a rear courtyard whilst liminal prospect over the valley to the north is framed by exquisitely detailed structural steel spans and tapered rafters floating over a peripheral bank of clerestory windows, configuring a deft handling of subtropical architecture that is at once resilient and elegant. This project draws you deep into the experience of place with a refreshing inventiveness and lightness of touch that epitomises the Sunshine Coast school of architecture and speaks to the clarity and skill of the architect’s body of work.
Photography: Nic Granleese