Three Piece House is a courtyard house, designed for a couple looking to downsize and live more simply. 

The project places a modest, single storey house and a studio on its site. These buildings are skewed to follow the site’s boundaries, and are clustered to create privacy on this exposed corner lot. Courtyards and gardens step and ramble between the buildings, and are as much a part of the house as the interior spaces. 

The main house is composed of two pavilions - one for living, and one for sleeping. The study corridor, which bridges between them, faces out to the garden and receives northern sun.








The courtyards between these pavilions provide elevated outdoor spaces and raise the house above the flood plain. The scale of this platform is broken down by brick steps, seating edges and planter beds, which will be lush with native plants. 

The courtyards have distinctive characters: one is extroverted and public, the other introverted and private. The southern porch is a space for chatting with neighbours and watching street life go by. The northern courtyard, meanwhile, is a sheltered space for morning sun, familial gatherings and respite. It is shaded overhead by deciduous vines, providing a simple and time-honoured approach to passive heating and cooling.


The materiality of Three Piece House is robust and resilient, as befits a windswept, coastal site. The textures and tones of the house are raw and rugged, and have been deliberately chosen to become more beautiful as they weather. 

The skillion forms are clad in a radially-sawn Silvertop Ash. This technique uses felled timber as efficiently as possible, minimising wastage and celebrating the timber’s natural grain.  

The solid masonry base is rendered in earthen-red tones, colour-matched to compliment recycled brick paving. These bricks will be reclaimed from the existing house to form the platform upon which the new home rests.

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The interior spaces are large, open volumes, but maintain a human scale. Corner openings peel back to reveal greenery and key views, while high windows offer slivers of sun and sky. An interior palette of timber floors, crisp white walls and plywood ceilings provides a warm and welcoming envelope. 

Three Piece House is currently under construction.