Living With Brick: Designing for Australian Weather

Project: La Scala
Architect: Richards & Spence
Product: GB Masonry Honed in Porcelain
Photography: Yaseera Moosa
Project: Mermaid Beach House
Designer: Maher Design
Builder: Ultra Building Solutions
Product: Kite Breeze Blocks designed in collaboration with Adam Goodrum; Terracade Louvres
Photography: Andy MacPherson
Project: Garden House
Architect: Placement Studio in partnership with Nest
Architects Builder: Kaneworthy Constructions Landscape
Design: AKAS Landscape Architecture
Product: Bowral Bricks in Chillingham White
Photography: Tom Ross
Project: Albury House
Architect: Kerstin Thompson
Architecture Builder: Scott James Builder
Product: GB Masonry Smooth in Nickel
Photography: Sean Fennessy
Project: Mount Eliza House
Architect: Antony Martin and Cameron Suisted, MRTN Architects
Product: GB Masonry GB Honed & GB Smooth in Nickel
Photography: Derek Swalwell

Australia’s unique climate calls for considered architectural responses that are both eco-conscious, highly functional and ultimately enhance living comforts. When optimised through orientation, shading, ventilation and insulation, sunny, hot and humid environments can be efficiently and effectively managed in buildings designed for the different seasons, all year round. 

These five projects celebrate the distinct natural conditions of their surrounding environments, using high-performing materiality and meticulous design processes to ensure their longevity and liveability without compromising on exemplary design. 

  1. La Scala

Basking in the sunny, endless warmth of the Queensland weather, renowned architects Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence of Richards & Spence created a home that plays with traditional notions of the backyard. Sitting atop their home is the building’s crown jewel – a sculptural oasis of greenery and architecture, evocative of thoughtfully restored ruins and a tropical retreat in a sun-drenched outdoor living space. GB Masonry Honed in Porcelain is the basis of the space, with reflective properties conducive to a naturally cooling area, despite its ample exposure to sunlight. The curation of tropical greenery also speaks to Brisbane’s glorious weather, choosing succulents and heat-resistant plants that require little maintenance, ensuring this rooftop remains lush throughout the year. 

  1. Mermaid Beach House

Coastal homes can often be seen with neutral-toned palettes, reflecting its locale and offering a blank canvas for individual design styles. An added benefit is the colour’s cooling effects, reflecting the sun’s rays away from the residence as it sits underneath the 


Deeply immersed in its Gold Coast context, Mermaid Beach House reflects its locale through a myriad of earthy tones, enriched by a warm tactility that embraces its coastal surroundings. Maher Design renovated the original 1980s residence with the objective of maximising natural light throughout the reconfigured two-storey layout. Designed as a ‘forever home,’ the project’s layout and design provides a delicate balance of a relaxed, yet adventurous lifestyle for the inhabitants. A screen of Kite Breeze Blocks, designed in collaboration with Adam Goodrum, adds warm terracotta hues evocative of the Mediterranean coastline, provides ventilation all-year round and filters in natural light through the entryway. Offering endless design possibilities, Kite Breeze Blocks can be arranged in a multitude of patterns, adapting to the needs and style of any project without compromising on design. 

  1. Garden House

With sustainable design at the forefront, this downsizing couple desired a home reminiscent of their former rural property, translated into a more intimate, suburban context. Garden House by Placement Studio and Nest draws from the surrounding bushscape – featuring an array of brickwork, concrete, timber and spotted gum throughout displayed in an earthy, neutral palette as well as a robust material foundation. 


The use of Bowral Bricks in Chillingham White not only emphasise nearby greenery but increase the thermal efficiency of the project, lowering energy bills and establishing a comfortable temperature when combined with tinted burnished concrete flooring. All windows are double-glazed, while solar energy and charged water tanks further promote a lifestyle that sits in harmony with Australia’s climate. 

  1. Albury House

Designed by Kerstin Thompson Architecture, this home in regional NSW required extra attention to mitigate its high risk bushfire site. Beginning with fire resistant GB Masonry Smooth in Nickel, the home is designed to withstand extreme temperatures from its foundations, acting as a natural insulator to reduce energy costs. The high-performance material additionally imbues a sense of quiet luxury into the modern countryside abode, enhanced by dynamic timber and cool concrete slabs. Flyscreens, louvres, perforated cement sheet screens and sliding glass walls were also all employed to combat the region’s turbulent climate, allowing the owners to enjoy their rural getaway. 

  1. Mount Eliza House

Sitting on the border of the Earimil Creek Reserve overlooking the Ranelagh Estate is Mount Eliza House – a unique family residence which celebrates the full scope of its surrounding context. Nestled between a cliff to the east, Earimil Creek at the bottom and north-facing bay and city views, the site offers an abundance of breathtaking views across Melbourne’s Port Philip Bay. Designed by Antony Martin and Cameron Suisted of MRTN Architects, the home utilises GB Masonry GB Honed Masonry Smooth Blocks in Nickel, adorning the living spaces in a sense of calm with its neutral tones and tactility. Built as a holiday home, the studio implements natural ventilation and cooling throughout the residence, which is achieved through the orientation and material palette. The controlled temperature optimises relaxation, with sloped eaves in place to further harness the sun’s impact over summer and winter months. Additional stone and timber elements take from natural sensibilities surrounding the home, further grounding Mount Eliza Home within its context.

“A screen of Kite Breeze Blocks, designed in collaboration with Adam Goodrum, adds warm terracotta hues evocative of the Mediterranean coastline, provides ventilation all-year round and filters in natural light through the entryway.”


“A screen of Kite Breeze Blocks, designed in collaboration with Adam Goodrum, adds warm terracotta hues evocative of the Mediterranean coastline, provides ventilation all-year round and filters in natural light through the entryway.”

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