Living Green

 09 Jun 2014

Brisbane’s Green Quarter is housing that attends many environmental factors. 

Given its name, it’s not surprising to learn that Green Quarter boasts a few environmental virtues at the very heart of its design. A development that comprises 12 luxury townhouses in the Brisbane suburb of Hamilton, the quarter was designed by architects Rothe Lowman White.

The townhouses include rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic panels for power generation, and each is orientated to ensure they take best advantage of sunlight and prevailing breezes. Windows are double-glazed and the building materials have been chosen for their low maintenance and key design ideas, which “push the buildings to a higher level of sophistication and performance,” says the project’s lead architect Jeff Brown.

At the heart of the design’s success is the provision of internal courtyard spaces that “allow the interiors to breathe and be filled with natural light,” says Brown.

Ceilings are high and raked to give enough space for air to move through the homes. Another key element is that all living spaces in the homes have been oriented to overlook private gardens and parkland to the north-east beyond; meanwhile secondary spaces – such as bedrooms and garages etc – overlook a private lane on the site.

Designing a dozen luxury townhouses that strike a good balance between openness, community and seclusion is all about the deft manipulation of space, light, air and interconnection.
 
Green Quarter is a development that is all about environmental factors – be they environmentally sustainable design considerations or the way the homes relate to the external and their own internal environments, and to each other.

A laneway, running east-west, is designed to provide a high quality vehicle/pedestrian zone that is shared by the residents and helps create a sense of community.

Taking this further the development features a central, landscaped seating space which allows residents to interact – meanwhile, it is no accident that refuse collection has been designed to be central to allow for casual contacts between the residents. A bike storage space is provided near the main entrance to the quarter.

The main entries into the homes meanwhile are defined by a very strong sense of arrival via courtyards and landscaped gardens. Once in the homes “an informal/open plan approach to house layouts creates a sense of the casual,” adds Brown.

“Streamlined in appearance, the Zip HydroTap perfectly complements the kitchen”

The houses are designed to strike a good balance between a sense of connection and openness to the adjoining public domain and interiors that offer a light-filled private sanctuary.

Upper floors of the homes have balcony spaces to connect them with the parklands and some homes also have internal landscaped courtyards as key focal points and to let daylight penetrate deep within the homes. Given that the townhouses are to be found in the subtropical climates of South Queensland, balconies and terraces have been deeply recessed so that the outdoor spaces are useable year round and allow some protection from the harsh sun at the hottest times of day.

Meanwhile in the very heart of the homes – the kitchen – sleek design and functionality has been an uppermost concern. “The specification of the Zip HydroTap has been integral to the success of the kitchens at the Green Quarter,” explains Jeff. “Streamlined in appearance, the tap perfectly complements the kitchen tapware, sink and overall aesthetic of the space. The ease of use and reliability of the system was a highly desired and acknowledged addition to the project.”

"Article taken from Boiling Point issue no. 21, published by the Indesign Media Asia Pacific. Words by Guy Allenby, Photography by Scott Burrows, Architect by Rothe Lowman Whit "