Fig Tree Pocket River House


Fig Tree Pocket River House

This house is situated on a dramatic site overlooking the Brisbane River. The southern aspect and very steep grade of the site presented major challenges to the way the house might be configured to take advantage of the river views and still access northern light and winter sun.

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The courtyard plan resolves this while allowing summer breezes to penetrate the house and an intimate garden sheltered from the west. This courtyard is hidden from view until being revealed upon entry into the house proper. In contrast to this the outdoor room at the end of the entry axis launches out 6m above the ground and enables breathtaking views up and down the river. In the courtyard the ground plane is reconfigured to yield both an upper garden which relates to the living level and a lower pond which is overlooked by the main bedroom and ensuite. The external stair and gabion wall terraces linking these courtyard spaces extends into the landscape both above and below the house establishing a landscape axis taking you from the grassy treed hillside down to the tropical lush river edge.

Environmental design strategies include:

  • – maximisation of passive ventilation through single room depth plan
  • – maximisation of northern light and winter sun penetration
  • – extensive summer sun shading
  • – heat reflective external paint system
  • – low VOC internal paint system
  • – heat pump hot water
  • – rain water harvesting with 35kl of storage

Photographer Jon Linkins


Brisbane, QLD




AIA Queensland Architecture Awards
State Award for Residential Architecture AIA Queensland Architecture Awards
Regional Commendation for Residential Architecture