Vault House

Winner of Think Brick's 2011 Open Face Award, Vault House is a proposal for a sustainable suburban house built of brick.

The competition called for entries to envision a future for the Australian suburb that embraced increased densities while accepting the established desire to engage with suburban life. Vault House amalgamates the underutilised corners of large, quarter-acre suburban lots into small plots that can accommodate new houses. The Vault House prototype positions itself at the junction between four suburban lots within Sydney’s St. Ives, and lies over 13m away from its neighbours. A landscaped buffer surrounds the house, effectively screening it from adjacent properties.
The Vault is the generative element of the design, and the vault ribbing directly reflects the suburban grid beneath. The location of the house is offset from its neighbours, affording residents views out through landscaping to the street while minimising overshadowing to adjacent buildings. Inhabitants car-share to reduce their environmental impact, accessing parking pods along the street via a brick-paved thoroughfare connected to the house.
Brick is used throughout Vault House as structure, ceiling, screening, and floor paving. Austral Bricks’ Dry Pressed Standard bricks in Charolais Cream are placed in Herringbone and Stretcher Bond patterns on floors and walls respectively; while Special Shape bricks, cut and interspersed with standard bricks, create radial patterned screening that throws lace-like shadows when in full sun. High vaulted ceilings overhead and a day-lit oculus give a sense of spaciousness to the interior, and truncated partition walls allow uninterrupted views of the bricks overhead.
Vault House is naturally cross-ventilated, with operable windows and a roof hatch over the central oculus to allow stack cooling. Brick screening and secondary roller blinds mitigate sun penetration in summer, while the brick vault massing is a sustainable thermal store in winter.

Vault House Exterior View
Vault House Concept Sketch
Vault House Location Shot
Vault House Plans
Vault House Brick Details
Vault House Interior View
Vault House Rooftop View