Richards and Spence


Hutchinson Builders


Austral Masonry

Bricks Used:

The GB Masonry Collection, Colour: Porcelain, Finish: GB Smooth

Building Contractor:

Dean O'Neill Bricklaying

Photography Credits:

Alicia Taylor

Clayfield House is a large family home on a small site in Brisbane. External space is given the same priority as internal space. A hierarchy of volumes - big and small, high and low - are organized around a central courtyard that occupies the largest volume in the house. The courtyard provides a most rooms in the house. Views across the courtyard facilitate privacy on the long, narrow site with close neighbours on three sides. The central double-height circulation nave, which crosses the courtyard, physically separates rooms and allows opportunities for daily interaction.

Parallel, double-height masonry walls extend the full length of the site from inside to outside. The colour and treatment of the block work appropriates a stone wall. Window joinery is concealed from view, fixed externally allowing the block work openings to remain pure and naked, like a ruin.

This house uses the benefits of thermal mass in a hot climate. Conventional brick veneer construction is reversed. External light-weight timber and metal cladding provides the requisite thermal cavity and satisfies a local town planning covenant for "timber and tin"construction. The external cavity protects the masonry from diurnal temperature fluctuations maintaining a constant internal environment.