Fredrichstrasse House, Maylands, SA, 2015

Friedrichstrasse House has been a labour of love by its Owner-Builders, a building-services engineer and his registered-nurse partner. This is a house for people who know what they like; and that is a love of things industrial, mechanical, brightly coloured… They love things made intricately yet strongly, made well yet differently. …They love Berlin!

Services engineering begins with nature – a knowledge of the sun, season, temperature, rain and wind. So, here lying east-west, but seeking north, Man and Nature come together in a structured dance, seeking control and containment… The site becomes the house, the house the site: peristyle-like.

In Friedrichstrasse, rammed earth, rainwater vessels and panelled metals create a compound – bounding a private world of courtyards and retreat spaces, a rambling nest for a long-time urban couple and guests. There’s distant places to drift off to, to wrap activity, for the moment.

And there is measured uncontrol, uncontainment, too – as highlights connect with the shifting canopy of the Maylands sky and tree-line; and window boxes firmly eye the street.

Council’s interest, however, was simply ‘conservation zone’. Neighbouring dwellings are bungalows. And kinda-so-are-we – but you just know something else is going on!

A palace on a postage stamp.