New kid on the Block

Award recognized home embraces Austral Masonry concrete block

The Townsville Laneway House has striped away the long standing notion of traditional elevated Queenslanders with deeply shaded balconies and showcases a simple home that is not only stylish but also responds to the temperamental tropical Queensland climate.


Uniquely designed, the house sits on a block just 10 meters wide by 50 meters. With street frontage west facing, the house is split into two pavilions and is linked by a bright translucent breezeway, maintaining the clients want for privacy.

Instrumental in the build, Austral masonry’s grey concrete block was used not only to moderate the temperature internally and deal with the savanna tropics of Queensland, but was essential in complimenting the timber finishing’s and raw material palette of the house.


Shortlisted in the 2016 House Awards, The Laneway House has maximized space on the slender block of land, building two separate pavilions joined together by a steel-framed hallway that looks out on to the garden and out door dining space, albeit undercover.


The first pavilion holds two bedrooms, a laundry and bathroom, linking through to the the kitchen and living area and the back pavilion holds the master bedroom, a small study and a carport accessible from the back laneway.


“The use of Austral Masonry grey concrete blocks units with a scattering of smooth-faced grey blocks provided a subtle variation in texture. The overall effect is one of understated casual elegance as the design flows seamlessly from the front avenue to the rear laneway,” said Michael Monro, Brickworks Building products.


Concrete masonry walling is widely used in Queensland for its economy, speed of construction and strength. Masonry walls, brick or block, perform well in compression which helps resist projectiles in a cyclone.

Article by John Pagsolingan

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