Established by Lindy Atkin and Stephen Guthrie on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 1997 and now based in Noosa and Brisbane, Bark is a ” client-focused ” collaborative architecture practice. Its name is linked to the similarity between the role of “bark” for insects and “architecture” for humans: “defining the line between inside and outside; negotiating the relationship between the internal and external environment; containing, protecting, sheltering”. In this way, Bark wants to create buildings designed from the inside out, offering users a sensitive and inextricable link with the landscape that surrounds them. They apply this principle to the design of private residences as well as public facilities and commercial architecture. Bark’s work has been recognized by numerous awards, publications, conferences and exhibitions. They have actively contributed to Queensland’s internationally recognised palette of contemporary architecture.

Follow us on a tour of 15 projects by Bark Design.

1. Two Tree House

Location: Buderim, Australia
Area: 262 m²

The “Two Tree House” is a house designed for a client on a modest budget. It consists of modular living and sleeping pavilions gathered on a suspended wooden platform connected by an open ‘breezeway’ and verandas which provide outdoor circulation while connecting the occupants to nature and the landscape. It is a nod to the majestic Eucalyptus trees, which frame the broad views of the Sunshine Coast and its breathable and porous design makes it suitable for a subtropical climate. The choice of aesthetic and natural materials such as galvanized steel, hardwood, polycarbonate, plywood and fibre cement sheet cladding was mainly guided by the desires of robustness, economy and authenticity.

Two Tree House - Sheet1
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Two Tree House - Sheet2
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Two Tree House - Sheet3
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Two Tree House - Sheet4
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones

2. Sunshine Beach House

Location: Sunshine Beach, Queensland
Area: 340 m²

Located within the relatively narrow limits of four neighbouring houses and a duplex, the Sunshine Beach house wants to create a “leisure oasis” on this 536 m² coastal site. Secondary spaces are organized around a double-height, north-facing exterior interior room and a pool area. A strong visual circulation axis from East to West connects the different areas of the house and favours the entry of natural light from the North and natural ventilation. This light reflects from the water and dances on the ceilings and walls of the surrounding spaces, which can also be enjoyed in the privacy of the planters in each bedroom located on the upstairs level.

Sunshine Beach House - Sheet1
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Sunshine Beach House - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Sunshine Beach House - Sheet3
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Sunshine Beach House - Sheet4
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones

3. Logan Youth Foyer

Client: Department of Housing and Public Works
Location: Woodridge, Queensland
Area: 920 m²

The Logan Youth Foyer extension includes a central community centre, 16 new one-bedroom units and two renovated studios with private classes for youth at risk of homelessness. The project was designed in close collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Public Works and the Place Design Group. Bark’s work focused primarily on creating an ideal living space for young people and developing social cohesion. This has resulted in the creation of a shared central community green space, a vertical screen and a horizontal response integrated into the subtropical landscape. The result of the design integrates seamlessly with the existing building, including the residential apartments and the large outdoor pavilion. Dense plantings complement the outdoor spaces and the connections between indoor and outdoor spaces. They evoke a sense of familiarity and residential character to create a calm, welcoming, and comfortable space for socializing and private reflection. “The design reconciles the practical demands of community living with independence and opportunities for engagement in a landscape-rich environment. »

Logan Youth Foyer - Sheet1
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Logan Youth Foyer - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Logan Youth Foyer - Sheet3
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Logan Youth Foyer - Sheet4
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones

4. Noosa Junction Station

Client: Sunshine Coast Council
Location: Noosa Heads, Queensland 

The design of this project supports the client’s vision of making Noosa one of the most sustainable regions in Australia. The project is inspired by Noosa’s indigenous meaning – “Place of Shade” – and the design uses shade structures and vegetation to filter light into a series of outdoor spaces. A perfect example of an integrated solution, the station offers easy access to public transport with seven bus stops, shaded paths for pedestrians and cyclists, relaxation areas for the public and an art exhibition illuminated at night. The project uses mainly recycled hardwood and more than 6,700 new trees and shrubs have been planted while retaining much of the site’s existing vegetation.

Noosa Junction Station - Sheet1
Exterior © Christopher Frederick Jone
Noosa Junction Station - Sheet
Exterior © Christopher Frederick Jone
Noosa Junction Station - Sheet3
Exterior © Christopher Frederick Jone

5. Bark Studio

Client: Bark
Location: Tinbeerwah
Area: 100 m²

In 2001 Bark Design created this studio to offer itself a superb workspace that highlights its design philosophy. This elevated studio in steel, glass and plywood, “explores the notion of a mixed typology of work/home”. It can accommodate a design team of five to six people, a home for two and a comfortable combination of both. The position of the building between two eucalyptus trees emphasizes the relationship between the built and the natural. Convinced that a building must work with existing conditions and not against them, the architects have maintained and enhanced the site’s fairly steep natural topography.

Bark Studio - Sheet1
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Bark Studio - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Bark Studio - Sheet3
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Bark Studio - Sheet4
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones

6. Glass house mountain house

Location: Maleny, Australie
Area: 509 m²

The design of this private residence on the Glass house mountain was guided by a desire for anchoring, robustness, transparency and lightness.  It is characterized by a mix of interior and exterior spaces, with large openings to the distant hills to the south and an interior courtyard. The architects have translated the “sky and mountains” site experience into a place of “glass and stone” inextricably connected to its landscape. The structure partially seated on the ground plane extending outwards and being raised by light steel frames. The subtlety in the finishes and details and the use of fine craft also make it a unique project.

Glass house mountain house - Sheet2
Courtyard © Christopher Frederick Jones
Glass house mountain house - Sheet3
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Glass house mountain house - Sheet4
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Glass house mountain house - Sheet1
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones

7. Mini Bus Shelter

Client: Noosa Council
Location: Noosa Heads

This minibus shelter complements the Noosa Junction Station project and retains the same design philosophy. The built forms are carefully nestled in an endemic natural landscape offering safety and comfort to people in transit. This shelter was designed to reduce ongoing maintenance costs. The use of materials such as wood and steel guarantees its durability. The architects chose not to use glass, which often degrades very quickly.

Mini Bus Shelter - Sheet1
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Mini Bus Shelter - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Mini Bus Shelter - Sheet3
Illustration ©Bark Design
Mini Bus Shelter - Sheet4
Illustration ©Bark Design

8. Bottlebrush

Client: Sunshine Coast Council
Location: Noosa Heads

Through this proposal for 53 multi-unit residential units in Noosa Heads, Bark design introduced the concept of “breathable subtropical architecture”. The architects wanted a permanent residential complex of higher density, affordable, adaptable and functional for the area. The goal was to achieve housing that was appropriate in scale and adapted to the climate and location.

Bottlebrush - Sheet1
Exterior ©Bark Design
Bottlebrush - Sheet2
Exterior ©Bark Design
Bottlebrush - Sheet3
Exterior ©Bark Design
Bottlebrush - Sheet4
Exterior ©Bark Design

9. Hervey Bay house

Client: Liza & Troy
Location: Hervey Bay
Area: 300 m²

The Hervey Bay house has a simple, linear shape in response to the horizontality of its windswept surroundings and the panorama of the bay and promontory from the interior. All living spaces benefit from views and northern light and maintain a strong connection to the landscape. The use of colour is subtle and natural, recalling the bleached palette of the coastal landscape and emphasizing the contrasting textures of various lightweight materials – plywood, fibre cement, gypsum board and glass.

Hervey Bay house - Sheet1
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Hervey Bay house - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Hervey Bay house - Sheet3
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Hervey Bay house - Sheet4
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones

10. Mulu

Client: Murphy Builders Queensland
Location: Mooloolaba

This mixed-use multi-unit housing project has both cultural and ecological qualities. It emphasizes sustainable principles to respond to the growth of the urban square of Mooloolaba. Its goal is to establish a benchmark for projects of this type on the Sunshine Coast.

Mulu - Sheet1
Sketch ©Bark Design
Mulu - Sheet2
Exterior ©Bark Design
Mulu - Sheet3
Sketch ©Bark Design

11. Beerwah Tower Green

Client: Sunshine Coast Council
Location: Beerwah

Realized in Beerwah in the Sunshine Coast region of Queensland, Beerwah Town Green was conceived as a series of public spaces specific to the conditions of the place and its future. As part of Beerwah’s streetscape master plan, the Tower Green experience is a blend of contrasts and synergies between the rocks, woods, vines and endangered butterflies.

Beerwah Tower Green - Sheet1
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Beerwah Tower Green - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Beerwah Tower Green - Sheet3
Sketch ©Bark Design
Beerwah Tower Green - Sheet4
Sketch ©Bark Design

12. Noosa Visitor Centre

Client: Noosa Council
Location: Noosa Heads

This information centre created by Bark Design Architects is an architectural anchor for the resort town of Noosa Heads. This modest 134 m² structure throws a welcoming shelter above the street, giving way to existing trees and deforming to negotiate the awkward corner site. The roof awning extending to the south invites passers-by to stop in the shade, where they can take a brief look at the centre’s exposure. Under the canopy, their experience is inextricably linked to the qualities of the surrounding natural landscape, where the main public information space for visitors becomes an integral part of street life.

Noosa Visitor Centre - Sheet1
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Noosa Visitor Centre - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Noosa Visitor Centre - Sheet3
Exterior-Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Noosa Visitor Centre - Sheet4
Exterior-Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones

13. Tinbeerwah

Client: Stefan & Adrienne
Location: Tinbeerwah
Area: 320 m²

Hinterland House, located in the hinterland of Noosa, contains two interconnected, steel-framed main volumes for living and sleeping, perched high on the site to enjoy broad views of the Pacific coast with the forested hinterland in the foreground. It has been designed to operate essentially passively and minimize the need for artificial/mechanical systems. This house explores lightness, filtering natural breezes, layers of transparency and interior/exterior spaces into dynamic patterns of light and shadow is a simple setting for a contemporary lifestyle.

Tinbeerwah - Sheet1
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Tinbeerwah - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Tinbeerwah - Sheet3
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones

14. Shearwater

Client: Ian & Margaret
Location: Peregian Beach
Area: 432m²

Outdoor Room Shearwater in Peregian Beach is the revitalization of an old classic. To achieve this, the studio used intelligent architecture and stylish new interiors. This project demonstrates the inherent sustainability in rethinking old buildings and spaces by emphasizing new character while using ‘bones’ to celebrate the character of the existing.

Shearwater - Sheet1
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Shearwater - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Shearwater - Sheet3
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Shearwater - Sheet4
Interior ©Christopher Frederick Jones

15. Curra Community Hall

Client: Gympie Regional Council
Location: Curra
Area: 363 m²

The Curra Community Hall was designed based on a contemporary interpretation of rural vernacular language. This design language refers to the timeless look and feel of the rural heritage and natural environment of the surrounding areas. This interpretation by the architects translates into a timber frame building clad with a light polycarbonate sheet. Thanks to this envelope, it filters the sunlight during the day, and at night it lights up like a lantern.

Curra Community Hall - Sheet1
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Curra Community Hall - Sheet2
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Curra Community Hall - Sheet3
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Curra Community Hall - Sheet4
Exterior ©Christopher Frederick Jones
Author

Franklin Yemeli is a young architecture student and blogger passionate about architecture and its relationship with nature and humans. He is convinced that these entities can help each other in a symbiotic relationship. He considers architectural discussions as introspections that allows one to be a little more architect every day.

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