Affectionately named ‘The Tissue Box’ by locals, House on Guido has recently taken out the Award for House of the Year in the Australian Institute of Architects 2017 Darling Downs/West Moreton Regional Architecture Awards.

Designed by Shane Denman Architects, based on the Gold Coast, the house was praised by jurors for its simplicity and strength. The owners of House on Guido are a young professional couple. They went to Shane Denman Architects with a strong idea of modernist simplicity in mind. Although the design is simple, the home accommodates a large series of rooms over almost 400 square metres, including four bedrooms, a media room and study.

Unafraid to take a risk, architect and clients worked closely throughout the design process to create a striking house that is worlds away from the colonial aesthetic of the suburb. The large block is relatively steep, falling from the back of the site to the street. Extensive earthworks were

undertaken initially to take advantage of the height and its visual access to a beautiful nature reserve across the street to the east. The long axis of the building is orientated towards the view, making the most of the morning light and easterly breezes.

House on Guido is a clean rectangular prism, emphasised by its lack of eaves. Rather than accommodating indoor/outdoor living with verandahs and eaves that stretch beyond the building envelope, large recesses have been carved from the exterior shell. The architects have opted to provide refuge from the sun by drawing the interior back, thereby not compromising the overall form of the house. This has given character to the entire building. The home’s strength and position on the site are reinforced with the strong horizontal lines of the cladding. The Hardie Linea Weatherboard is finished in Dulux Dieskau, and offset with moments of blockwork and rendered wall finished in muted grey.

One of the clients is a motoring enthusiast,

and the brief specified ample space be included to accommodate this hobby. Along with the double garage for everyday use, the design also includes a single garage with a workshop, as well as a double shed. Using the steep site to their advantage, these areas were built under the house.

The clients were largely responsible for the interior design. The clean simplicity of the exterior is carried indoors, with the restrained colour palette of white, dark grey and timber flooring. Open planning, along with internal access to those many garages, allows for easy everyday living. The master bedroom, along with the open living area, both open up to the outdoors to enjoy the easterly view. The northern most living area offers the notion of indoor/outdoor living; it can be shut off from the rest of the home in winter, creating a smaller volume that is easier to heat.

House on Guido has proven a success for both clients, who are thoroughly enjoying their dream home, and architects, who have achieved recognition by the national architectural authority.