Minka Twins in Australia by Bureau^Proberts Offers Affordable, Family-Friendly Living in a Sub-Tropical Context

Project Title
Minka Residences
Bardon, Australia
300 sqm
Marvin D'souza - Story Developments
Project Lead
Andrew Bell
Design Team
Liam Proberts, Terry McQuillan
Interior Designer
Saskia Ruijs
Project Documentation
Natalie Smart
Scott Burrows

Designed by Brisbane architectural firm bureau^proberts, the Minka Twins are a pair of two-storey, four-bedroom homes located in Bardon, in inner-city Brisbane, Australia.

The firm’s aim was to create well-designed, affordable, family-friendly homes, that fill the gap for mid-level housing in the city’s residential market. Here, residents enjoy the best of luxurious subtropical design, rarely accessible at this price point. The design is a departure from the usual urban home model in the region and draws inspiration from the form and architectural principles of classic Japanese farmhouses, which place efficiency above mere aesthetics.

The Asian influence

The design’s namesake — Minka — references the aforementioned Japanese farm houses. These dwellings, like the ‘Queenslander’, were characterised by their strong connection with the surrounding landscape. The Minka Twins invite the outside in, translating ‘under-the-house’ space into highly functional and inviting living spaces. Traditionally, Japanese farm houses were constructed without walls or, alternatively, with large, sliding panels. Gently steeping elevations were also used to signpost the varying zones within each heightened space.

Similarly, flexibility is the hero of the Minka Twins. Both houses strongly engage with the landscape via a series of floor-to-ceiling glass doors that stack away. This completely opens up the lower-level living spaces to the outdoors and creates an ‘under-the-house’ climate. Meanwhile, internal gardens blur the lines between interior and exterior.

The Cost Efficiencies

The price point alone is not the only advantage of this design. Cost efficiencies are likely to continue throughout occupancy. In the upper bedrooms, both dwellings deploy single-room widths, to promote passive cooling. Additionally, full-height openings to verandahs capture Brisbane breezes, while the batten-screened façade ensures residents have ample privacy.

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