WE recently had the great pleasure of working with Greenroom Building Co’s Garth and Philippa when they decided to build their dream family home on Queensland’s Gold Coast.

The couple and their two children had lived in their family home on their much-loved street for eight years but decided to build a new home instead of renovating their existing one as they wanted a truly unique architectural property, and to experiment with materials and push the limits of engineering.

“We love spending time in Southern California and have always admired modernist architects like Neutra and the sometimes gravity-defying architecture and engineering in places like the Hollywood Hills,” Philippa tells Concrete Nation.

The couple enlisted BDA Architects, in particular Adam Beck, to create a true modernist industrial house constructed from raw materials like concrete and supported by exposed steel.

“We purchased and backloaded a full stack of reclaimed bricks that we sourced in Melbourne,” says Philippa. “They’re over 100 years old and from a factory in Yarraville that still has remnants of old posters stuck to them along with bits of signwriting.  All of our timber is recycled and comes from the local area.  Whatever we had leftover was turned into furniture or used in the landscaping. All of the windows are tinted, which acts as a greenhouse for all the plants.”

The Concrete Nation team created a slew of handcrafted architectural pieces for the home including our iconic Oasis Bath, bespoke concrete kitchen benchtop, scullery, laundry, basins, vanity tops and custom floating shelves. The bath, in particular, is a true showpiece and works back perfectly with the exposed bricks and mosaic tiles.

“Concrete benchtops were a natural choice for us,” says Philippa. “Not only do they work with our aesthetic but you can have a five-metre benchtop with no join and built-in drain grooves.

“When we went out to the old Concrete Nation factory and saw Kate, Jason and Chloe the labrador,  they were in the process of moving so it was just us and them. Once we could eyeball and get a feel for their products we were not just having concrete benchtops; we were having concrete basins, a concrete bath, floating concrete shelves…we even thought about doing some odd shaped concrete steppers.  They will truly make anything you can think of.”

Architect Adam Beck describes the home as a unique and true courtyard house where natural materials are expressed in a contemporary built form.

“The free and open plan is also a nod to modernism that resonates with the south-east Queensland locale,” he says.

For a tour of this architectural home, see below. Images by Andy Macpherson.

Amy Mills