Minka Twins

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  • 2019

  • Architectural
    Commercial and Residential

Designed By:

  • Liam Proberts - Design Architect
  • Terry McQuillan - Design Architect
  • Andrew Bell - Project Lead
  • Saskia Ruijs - Interior Designer
  • Natalie Smart - Project Documentation

Commissioned By:

Marvin D'souza - Story Developments

Designed In:

Australia

The Minka Twins are a pair of four-bedroom, two-storey homes located in Bardon, in inner-city Brisbane. Together, they fill a gap in the city’s residential market — meeting the demand for well-designed, affordable middle-market housing. Here, residents enjoy the best of luxurious subtropical design, rarely accessible at this price point.


  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • Historically, inner-city Brisbane home buyers wishing to secure stylish, well-considered architecture — suitable for subtropical conditions — were forced into the top-end of the market. Bureau^proberts was tasked with tailoring a design that delivered an affordable alternative for purchasers with mid-range budgets but high-end aesthetic aspirations. In addition to elevating the design available to middle-market buyers, each home had to be family friendly. Four bedrooms and two living rooms were essential requirements outlined in the brief.

  • Flexible living space was key to delivering a family friendly design. To enhance the connection to the yard and landscape, two generously proportioned living spaces are positioned on the lower level of each home. The kitchen, dining and living zones all connect seamlessly. Meanwhile, a stair void was deployed to separate the master suite from the children’s bedrooms. Suspended concrete flooring, along with timber batten screens, provide privacy for bedrooms and help to minimise noise.

  • This design is a welcome addition to the region’s existing building stock — with a secondary living space located on the front facade to encourage engagement with the streetscape. Simple gable roof forms, batten-screened verandahs, and habitable undercroft spaces, all complement the architecture of the surrounding neighbourhood and Brisbane’s nearby CBD. Whilst the design fills a void in the middle-market, for home buyers seeking well-designed, family friendly residences, the cost efficiencies are likely to continue throughout occupancy. Both dwellings deploy single-room widths, in the upper-level bedrooms, to promote passive cooling. Meanwhile, full-height openings to verandahs capture cooling winds.

  • The design’s namesake — Minka — references Japanese farm houses. Traditionally, these homes were constructed without walls or, alternatively, with sliding panels. Gently steeping elevations signposted the varying zones within each heightened space. Similarly, flexibility is the hero of this design. Both houses strongly engage with the landscape via a series of floor-to-ceiling glass doors that stack away. This completely opens up the lower-level living spaces to the outdoors and creates an ‘under the house’ climate. Internal gardens blur the lines between interior and exterior. Meanwhile, the raised concrete ground plane becomes a seat to occupy the landscape edge.