Donovan Hill ‘D House’, a Kinfolk home
Moments of greatest often occur right beside those of quietness. It is perhaps the most humble, most austere of spaces that stir our emotions, that make their mark forever upon us. We recall the way they activate our senses with their reverential sense of humanity – a perfectly positioned window which frames a beautiful vista, dappled shadows, a tactile wall in the perfect hue, a tempered breeze through a timber breezeway, the cool solemnity of natural stone underfoot. It is an enigmatic challenge for the architect and designer to make us ‘feel’ both individually stimulated yet truly a part of something greater within spaces created.
The D House in New Farm, designed by Brisbane-based architects Donovan Hill has this quality. Consciously modest, the house is minimal yet never lacking in its ability to extend to generously welcome many guests.
With a deliberate interplay of scale – particularly at the house’s openings (such small bedroom doors are contrasted with whole walls that shift to open the house almost completely to the outdoors) – the house meditates public and private space, inside to outside. With a consideration for an almost spiritual sense of humanity, the D House celebrates a home’s importance not just for its occupants but for those that are welcomed into its embrace.
Perhaps the culmination of the idea of the community-conscious home is found in the bountifully inviting communal heart of this home, the built-in suspended timber and leather sofa. It is has a serenity both for one and yet space for all, lined so casually, with a curated collection of owner Geraldine Cleary’s treasured artworks.
Gracing the pages of The Kinfolk Home book by its founder Nathan Williams, the D House embraces the art of slow living. With its greater ability to house and harness the values of its owner while also enriching forever the heart of the community in which it lies, it is at once, for one and for all.
Photography: Sharyn Cairns