Alman House


The Alman Residence is a house in the modernist sense; facilitating various modes of contemporary tropical living.

The house consists of a string of intersecting volumes structured around a fractured monolithic spine. The arcadian blades of rammed earth were conceived as a pre-existing order which the plan is anchored to and structurally supported off. Internally, their presence plays counterpoint to the transparency of the lightweight steel and glass frames and the northern views over canefields and the Whitsunday Passage. The first elements to be erected on site, the walls briefly resembled the magnetic termite mounds of NQ and NT, following a strong east-west axis across the natural contours of the site.

First in a new estate, the site is elevated above and physically disconnected from surrounding developments. The project envisaged a new language for the hilltop. The house became an exploration in placemaking through materiality. Walls are comprised of local soil and purple aggregate from Sarina, polished slabs are composed Hughenden quartz and silica sands from Bundaberg.

The form of the house is a result or consequence of mapping and responding to the broader landscape issues from within, rather than an initiate idea or ambition. A flexible end rather than a confining means. Functions are gathered and placed in coalition to specific moments within and beyond the site, registering as a sequence of varied experiences within the building. Through plotting orientations, Slade Point; a coastal settlement and childhood home of one of the Owners is drawn in and deposited onto the kitchen table.The major living space and entertaining deck combine under one expansive eave overlooking the pool, to create a room which borrows from the scale of the hillside.

Landscaping is construed as abstractions of local habitats; the pool as waterhole edged with screwpine pandanus and Carpentarian palms and planting in the rear gorge reminiscent of the nearby Eungella range.


Regional Commendation, Mackay / Whitsunday Region, RAIA Queensland Architecture Awards, 2003


Photography: Phorm