Three Piece House, located in Newcastle, Australia, is a courtyard residence designed by TRIAS Architects for a couple seeking to embrace minimalism and simplicity as a new way of living.
The architects lay a modest, single-storey house divided into three essential elements – a house, a studio, and a series of courtyards – that are skewed to follow the site’s limits. The residence was designed with efficiency and with every decision, great attention to durability. The limited budget was spent thoughtfully, focusing on details that’ll enhance the client’s daily life.
The Three Piece House replaced an ordinary 1940’s bungalow, formerly present in the plot. The architects, however, kept the same brick platform upon which the cottage used to sit. This gesture was intended as an act of storytelling by giving the site a new life without neglecting its history.
With a robust, resilient material palette, warm tones, and emphasis on simplicity, the project embodies the architects’ and clients’ shared notion of ‘less but better’. The result is a house that distills every element of the design down to what is essential; it is a testament to small and efficient living in suburbia.
With its courtyard design and subtle combinations of living and sleeping pavilions, the layout of the project was guided by an engagement with the Australian culture of combined indoor-outdoor living. The architects worked within the triangular site’s shape to create a configuration of private and public courtyards: The southern porch, which faces the river, is a space for neighborly interactions and a way of connecting the house with the street life. The northern courtyard, meanwhile, is a sheltered space for family retreat and gathering.
Minimalism in architecture is very often associated with white walls and contrasting window frames and furniture. The Three Piece House comes as an excellent counterexample for this stereotype and proves that minimalism isn’t something that requires specific looks to be attained; It’s a way of designing, a way of building, and most importantly, a way of living.