Backward About Coming Forward. An unavoidable showstopper, designed by Reece Keil

‘Back to Front House’ is another showstopping Reece Keil Design which solidifies his company’s reputation for being a progressive and adaptive design firm.

The client came to Reece due to his bespoke residential design, as they are an older professional couple who have no interest in building a home that is going to require ongoing upkeep, yet these entertainers wanted a home that would spark visual interest and invite the waterways of Surfers Paradise right into their living room.

“Back to Front House” got its name from the reversal of layout to the home. Toward the north-facing frontage is the views and therefore the main living areas. While the garage has been shifted to the rear of the block, maximizing the dwelling’s street frontage, creating a welcome canvas to inspire design.

In addition to an alluring façade, the client wanted the home to be made of a solid masonry material that was anything but brick. Having had poor experiences in the past with movement and cracking, they asked Reece to provide alternative solutions that would still offer a solid masonry aesthetic.


Curves are in, designed by Reece Keil

Strong and Solid

Permission to construct this Southport home out of materials other than brick was a win for Reece Keil. Not only did this request mean he could design something to visually separate the home from an architectural brick dwelling next door, but it also meant he could incorporate a product that maximises thermal efficiency, a building fundamental for the Australian climate, particularly in sunny Queensland.

Reece had considered a couple of different materials to propose to his client, a foam board option, and the Hebel PowerPanelXL. The clients weren’t overly thrilled with the thought of foam as external cladding, even though they liked the idea of its thermal performance. They wanted something they could knock on which would sound solid.

Therefore, Reece suggested Hebel as it, “blocks, it holds, it repels, it does all of those things that a masonry type wall would do but the system itself is a lot easier to work with.”

“That’s why I pointed them in the direction of the PowerPanelXL because it’s more robust, it’s got good thermal qualities and on the flipside of that, it’s quite easy for the builders to use.”

Reece was very familiar with the Hebel product having used it on several other projects. Its fast installation method was another factor that the client found appealing, as did the builder Tidal Constructions.

“The builder loved working with Hebel. They don’t know why it doesn’t get used more widely” Reece described comments from Tidal’s team.

This award-winning project featured Hebel on the entire lower level, so it was within reach of the client. Being of an older generation, they wanted something strong and solid they could touch and feel. From a design perspective, Reece wanted the bottom to get lost as to feature the decorative Cemintel cladding atop. And so, the Hebel plays an important role in providing peace of mind for the homeowners while complimenting the entire home’s dynamic.


Two tone cladding adds beauty and depth, designed by Reece Keil.

Hold Your Colour

What better way to disappear an element then to paint it black! Darker colours can disappear while light colours tend to stand out. With the top level of this home clad in Cemintel Territory™ Woodlands Whitewash, a light timber looking product, the black rendered finish of Hebel would be the perfect accompaniment for an engaging contrast, providing the client with the visual impact they employed Keil to execute.

Keeping the overall palette light to suit the coastal surroundings, Cemintel Territory™ Woodlands Limed was also added to the front façade to join fellow material Cemintel Territory™ Woodlands Whitewash over the rear garage. Reece was concerned that the cladding was not going to be light enough, but the depth created from the two colours makes for a dynamic and alluring aesthetic. He says, “it gives the house different identities throughout the day, depending on what the weather is doing.” The cladding can look white in the sunlight and adopts a creamy appearance later when evening sets in.

However, the most important consideration to their brief was to ensure the home would not require ongoing maintenance. This is where Hebel excel in Reece’s opinion. The good thing about PowerPanelXL is you get a high-quality flat surface resulting in a brilliant, clean crisp finish.

Hebel not only offers a thermally efficient alternative to brick, but PowerPanelXL also provides durability with a seamless look to suit a broad variety of design solutions.


Fine detail for a fine result, designed by Reece Keil.




Designed by Reece Keil Design – Gold Coast

Built by Tidal Constructions

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