camera obscura last week travelled to woorabinda in central queensland to shoot the woorabinda school library for kevin o’brien architects. the 2 overcast & rainy days, apart from around 30mins of direct sunlight, made for some interesting project obscura memory capture experiments.
my daughter calls these places “my home“. “come into my home dad”, she says as she climbs into the cupboard or belly crawls under her bed. when i join her i see what she means – these are little homes of mystery and memory making. through her eyes, there is a whole city in miniature in our tiny apartment – and meg owns the real estate.
Phorm A + D – Outlook Crescent House 2009
Words by Paul Hotston
“The Outlook Residence invoked the strong notion of an interior as a distinct design entity rather than the result of architectural planar or spatial ideas. We inherited the pre-existing conditions and fabric of the principle living rooms of the original house. Whilst the practice is well versed in ‘edge condition/ threshold’ interiors, volumes which draw upon landscape or exteriors for focus and conditioning, the absence or exclusion of an exterior prompted, for us the design of an ‘interior’. The project adopted the aesthetic of light and abstraction and incised sculptural relief.
The idea for light cores were prompted by a pragmatic requirement to deliver precious light to the newly formed floor below , driven by concerns of disconnection between lives throughout the house through ‘stratification’ of the plans. The cores support a range of explorations in light and provide aural transparency – a prosaic interplay, the result of a pragmatic necessity.
The light and surfaces imbue the interiors with the presence of, or allude to the exterior beyond – the play of light entering the space connects the occupants with nature and the passing of the day. The light inside then is the counterpart to the dappled light cast on the white surface of the tower through the leaves of the jacaranda. The notion of interior was carried further with a response to edit the framing of the tree from within the interior – captured through small picture sized portals, small discreet moments or dissected pieces. The experience of the whole is witheld – to be found in another place beyond the building.
The Material Palette is principally square-set white painted plasterwork (dulux: white watsonia), layed in contrast to the natural hues and tones of australian hardwoods, travertine, sandstone and select coloured concrete.
The solutions offered by the ‘light cores’ resolve many issues thrown up by the ‘stratification’ or infilling the understorey of queenslanders and similar residential house types. The threshold between the two ages of the house is bled with light and linked with incised forms of plasterwork to produce a seemless whole – the prosaic solution to illumination gave way to luminance.
As with all architectural projects the faith extended by the Client to pursue our interests deserves the highest praise. As most Architects or Interior designers can atest, the hardest element to argue for within a plan is the one without program, yet it is precisely such elements that may come to define the whole or provide the key experience of place.