Material Palette: Charles Wright Architects

Click to enlarge
H1 hardwood in the Re-Newell House.

H1 hardwood in the Re-Newell House. Image: Patrick Bingham-Hall

1 of 6
Concrete block in the Oak Beach House.

Concrete block in the Oak Beach House. Image: Patrick Bingham-Hall

2 of 6
Off-form concrete in the Stamp House.

Off-form concrete in the Stamp House. Image: Patrick Bingham-Hall

3 of 6
Compressed fibre cement sheet in the (W)right House.

Compressed fibre cement sheet in the (W)right House. Image: Patrick Bingham-Hall

4 of 6
Furniture-grade plywoods in the (W)right House.

Furniture-grade plywoods in the (W)right House. Image: Patrick Bingham-Hall

5 of 6
Painted steel in the (-) Glass House.

Painted steel in the (-) Glass House. Image: Patrick Bingham-Hall

6 of 6

The work of Charles Wright Architects (CWA) responds to the cyclonic conditions of Far North Queensland, while also being open and connected to the tropical environment. Materials are chosen for their high durability and strength.

H1 hardwood

Charles Wright Architects uses timber carefully in its projects, particularly in exposed situations. Locally sourced H1-durability hardwoods are the only timbers it uses externally, as seen here at the Re-Newell House (ironbark). The timber can be coated to bring out its grains and colours, but can also be left to weather naturally.

Concrete block

Concrete block in the Oak Beach House. Image:  Patrick Bingham-Hall

CWA enjoys experimenting with construction techniques. Concrete block screens cast engaging shadows during the day and create ephemeral lantern effects at night, as seen here at Charles’ own house, the Oak Beach House.
tcbmasonry.com

Off-form concrete

Compressed fibre cement sheet in the (W)right House.  Image:  Patrick Bingham-Hall

The practice uses off-form concrete for core structural elements, as seen here at the Stamp House. Concrete is used for its inherent robustness and long life-cycle efficiency, particularly in corrosive environments and cyclone-prone regions. The practice likes concrete for its raw, honest material beauty and the way its appearance changes with the light.
boral.com.au

Compressed fibre cement sheet

Compressed fibre cement sheet (CFC) facade panels are cost-effective and durable, and are often painted in CWA’s projects to provide a clean, satin finish, as seen at the (W)right House. The practice uses CFC systems to provide contemporary, low-maintenance facades and fascias at a significantly lower cost than metal facade alternatives.
jameshardie.com.au

Furniture-grade plywoods

Painted steel in the (-) Glass House.  Image:  Patrick Bingham-Hall

Plywood is a cost-effective and durable timber finish that the practice uses to create a vibrant, warm and natural interior, as seen in the living room of the (W)right House. Articulation and pattern in the setout of panels can create visual interest and become an important design element. 
australply.com.au

Painted steel

Structural steel, typically painted with a durable, high-build coating, features strongly in the work of CWA. Steel is used for expression of form and clarity in projects such as the (-) Glass House, seen here. 
bluescope.com.au

Read the Charles Wright Architects profile from Houses 100.


More practice

Managing mental health

Managing mental health

Is there a correlation between mental health issues and architecture practice? New research discusses how the profession might better support its members through periods of mental illness.
Model practice

Model practice

Is architecture shackled by traditional, outdated approaches to practice? Katelin Butler examines how a new generation of architects is redressing the balance by proposing new models for architectural practice.

Most read

Monastic modesty: Surry Hills House

Monastic modesty: Surry Hills House

This refurbishment of a narrow terrace house by Benn and Penna Architecture presents the client with a light-filled, monastic and disciplined setting for life to unfold.
Fewer walls, more life: Big Small House

Fewer walls, more life: Big Small House

Designed according to the philosophy that “less is more,” this layered family home by People Oriented Design offers an engaging contribution to the conversation about twenty-first-century Queensland architecture.