A Progressive Queenslander by Vokes and Peters

  • Casuarina House by Vokes and Peters

    Brisbane-based firm Vokes and Peters challenge the Queensland suburban vernacular with a new brick home for a family of three.

    Vokes and Peters are concerned with appropriateness to their project’s context, with a portfolio that explores Queensland’s architectural traditions and their close ties to the local lifestyle.

    Sharing its name with a group of Australian native plants; Casuarina project by Vokes and Peters taps into the coastal suburban setting. Determined not to manifest the typical beach holiday house or suburban abode, Vokes and Peters designed a compact yet spacious family home, relaying the importance of an integrated garden. 

    Produced in partnership with Brickworks.

    Casuarina House by Vokes and Peters

    Vokes and Peters director Stuart Vokes says consideration for the coastal location was integral to every aspect of the project. At the centre of the home lies a double-height outdoor room that invites natural light and the sound of the ocean within, while providing an essential source of ventilation. “When it storms, it feels like it is raining inside the centre of the house, as the dining room and living rooms flank either side,” Stuart says. 

    Off this core volume, Vokes and Peters arranged the living spaces, which all open out onto the verandah – a nod to the classic Queenslander. “Being located in a temperate climate, we arranged a generous verandah that stretches the length of the house, encouraging circulation between rooms to occur outside, resulting in a phenomenal connection to nature and the setting,” Stuart explains.

    Casuarina House by Vokes and Peters | est living
    Casuarina House by Vokes and Peters

    There may be a general undercurrent of green space evaporating in the new suburban home build, but Vokes and Peters went against the grain. They ensured there was ample space for a backyard, by elevating the home to two-storeys – minimising the footprint to allow for both front and rear garden. 

    Generally speaking, the quintessential Queenslander home is made from timber and corrugated iron. For their Casuarina project, Vokes and Peters selected brick as the principal material. Fixed timber screens were added for privacy and security, so the family can leave windows open while listening to the ocean as they sleep. 

    Stuart says materials were selected based on their inherent authenticity and how they contributed to the handcrafted outcome. “Brickwork was selected not as a suburban motif, but as a perfect material for making walls in the garden,” he says. Bricks were also chosen for the central void, being a ‘noble material worthy of receiving sunlight’. 

    It was Vokes and Peters mandate to select brick that would honour the design vision, so much consideration was spent on the look and feel of Brickworks’ offering. The pale brick – Bowral 76 – Chillingham White – was chosen to accentuate the modern move away from timber, without the connotations of the average suburban home.

     “The soft, matt surface of the brick surface absorbs light in a way that expresses the depth, anchoring and monumentality,” Stuart affirms. Hit and miss brickwork promotes ventilation indoors, without disrupting the facade. Outside, bricks have been used to create custom seating and a large outdoor fireplace. Brick walls also shape each of the garden rooms, pool fencing and pool border, with notes of 1970s nostalgia. 

    As homes expand to meet their boundary fence, Vokes and Peters have provided a refreshingly considerate example of the exact opposite. Their Casuarina project promotes a move toward bricks for the typical Queenslander, accentuating how a home can be tailored to its inhabitants, and equally to its context.

    This project is the seventh in a featured series on how leading contemporary architects and design figures use bricks, in partnership with Brickworks. See the est favourites here or take a look at Brickworks on the est product library.

    Casuarina House by Vokes and Peters

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