Surry Hills Library Talk – About the house

Sam was recently invited by Elizabeth Farrelly to take part in a talk series at Surry Hills library that she curates titled “ABOUT THE HOUSE”. Sam thoroughly enjoyed presenting the talk, discussing some thoughts ‘ABOUT THE HOUSE’ and showing examples of the part we have played in shaping some of our clients’ houses. Sam also enjoyed listening to Ken McBryde’s talk about his remarkable prefab housing for South Pacific communities. We are excited to see the success of this housing model.

Key points from Sam’s talk to ponder……..

The House; It is where we live our inner lives. It is an expression of our selves, of our memories, our aspirations, our finances. A house may be attached to other houses, but it sits on the ground. It has a garden – however small. In my mind the house and garden are really one and the same, the bounds of the house extend to the notional garden edge. A flat or an apartment is not a house, although they perform very similar functions and yet so does the street, the park, a restaurant, a library, or any good a public space. For most of us it is a place in which we cook and eat and share food. It is the space over which we have the greatest measure of control. It is a space in which to celebrate, to commiserate, to relax,to stress and to argue. It is where we are most vulnerable. It should be a place of safety where we can be most ourselves, but for many it is not. The house is often shared by a family, by friends and sometimes by strangers. The house is very much part of the Australian psyche, yet, just like the bush and riding on the sheep’s back is less and less of a reality for more and more of us. It is often far too large, unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible. I love the house. I hope it has a future in Australian cities, but if it is to do so, it must become more compact, sit more closely with its’ neighbours, it must be accessible by foot, by bike and public transport; it must be more sustainable, and more considered than the typical suburban mansion.