Beckman House

2006 RAIA Commendation (Brisbane Region)

Queensland Center for Subtropic Design Commendation 2007

This innovative small lot house is located on a steep site in Clayfield. The site was previously a 900sqm allotment with a single residence, but the original house was removed and the land subdivided for redevelopment. Our approach was to minimise excavation while maximising height to realise the great views to Moreton Bay. The constraints of the City Plan-Small Lot Code prompted the stepped section that rises with the contours of the land.

The Beckman House has a variety of living spaces, both formal and informal, to comfortably suit all members of the family. The house has seven separate levels with two main stairs. Vistas between half levels and the high volumes at stairs create a series of varied spaces with relationships to nature. Good ventilation and natural light were achieved by designing the house only one room thick. This is aided by the Northern aspect. An upper level deck cantilevers over the swimming pool with a dramatic effect.

Lightweight, economic, and sustainable cladding materials have been used, including fibrous cement, polished pacific maple ply, zincalume Custom Orb and Mini Orb. Raw materials such as polished coloured concrete, stainless steel, polished timber have been used internally and externally to create uniformity.

Beckman House by Biscoe Wilson Architects
Beckman House by Biscoe Wilson Architects

The Beckman House was designed specifically for Queensland’s sub-tropical climate and tight-knit urban living. This project explores environmentally sustainable design (ESD) in the context of Brisbane’s dense, urban residential suburbs. The ESD features include:

  • Long north facing axis with nothhern setback for courtyards.
  • Lightweight construction working with the slope.
  • Plan zoning to enhance occupant usage while promoting cross ventilation.
  • Low embodied energy material selection.
  • Insulation to walls and roofs.
  • Integration of living areas with the landscape

Architectural Team | Robert Biscoe, Marion Wilson, Jaime Weber

Builder | David Beckman and Nathan Henderson

Structural Engineer | Farr Engineers

Private Certifier | Building Surveying Professionals

Photographer | Aperture Architectural Photography

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