Commendation for Residential Buildings

This is an article from the Architecture Australia archives and may use outdated formatting

Brookes Street House by James Russell Architect

Jury Citation

Carefully inserted between two heritage-listed nineteenth-century ecclesiastical buildings, this compact courtyard house for its architect owner is like a skilfully designed piece of occupied joinery.

Great care has been invested in its choice of materials and assembly, as well as in ensuring it takes maximum advantage of the subtropical environment. The central courtyard, with a grass floor elevated above parking, provides a green sanctuary for the family, and visually connects the living and sleeping areas.

A simple yet elegant series of screens, frameless glass panels, flaps and louvres provide an ambiguous boundary between inside and out. The section is carefully modulated to ensure the penetration of light and control of sun, while giving a compact sense of vertical scale.

Timber structure, flooring, lining, screens and joinery lend a wonderful sense of craft to this spatially expansive yet intimate house. New and old coexist happily with borrowed spaces between. A robust exterior defines a more delicate and enriching interior.

This is a worthy model for urban living in a subtropical climate.


James Russell Architect
Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Project Team
James Russell, Lachlan Nielsen
Builder James Russell, Lachlan Nielsen
Heritage consultant Robert Riddell Architects—Peter Todd
Structural consultant Bligh Tanner
Site details
Location Fortitude Valley ,  Brisbane,  Qld,  Australia
Category Residential buildings
Type Houses, Residential
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 1 Nov 2006


Architecture Australia, November 2006

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