A couple’s nearly 2,800-square-foot property was once adjacent an alleyway.
There is little room for unpredictability in a neighborhood designed on a grid. In places like the Brisbane suburb of New Farm, homes are lined in neat, intersecting rows that leave few opportunities for creativity. But there was a sliver of open space down a narrow road between two existing houses and an interested couple thought that it could work as the site of an unconventional home. The two prospective homeowners, a university counselor and a police officer, turned to Justin O’Neill and his namesake architecture firm to think outside of the box. “They understood that a tight site is best utilized by an economical means of living,” he says. The pair requested a design that blurred the lines between indoor and outdoor living, and O’Neill used that wish as a way to ensure the presence of light and air. He created a long, narrow home—one that’s only 26 feet wide—punctuated by open spaces that are secluded from eight surrounding neighbors.