Clayfield House by Adrian Spence

Situated in the Brisbane suburb of Clayfield, this contemporary single family house was designed by Adrian Spence.


Restrictive covenants, however well intentioned, often become an obstacle to change. The Brisbane suburb of Clayfield has what architect Adrian Spence calls a “timber and tin” covenant. He chose to work around the requirement by placing the masonry on the inside, a system better known as reverse brick veneer. The substantial family home is designed around a courtyard and has four major masonry walls, two to the boundaries and two forming the centre circulation space. Instead of choosing standard grey concrete blocks, the designers specified GB Smooth Masonry with a glowing, polished finish. Why masonry? “I think that climatically timber is not necessarily the best material to use,” Spence asserts. “Masonry is a much more sensible building material even in our climate.” Turning the structure inside-out created an attractive, low maintenance, thermally-efficient interior, proving once again that good design will always find a way.

Photography by Alicia Taylor

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- by Matt Watts

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