The motivation for building our hand-made house design


I recently came to a new awareness for the motivation for building of our hand-made house design. The name  ‘Aitken’ is a fourth-generation Scottish name meaning ‘of the earth’. Unknowingly I have built a house of the earth.

Points in this post:

  • It has been inspired by a love of nature and of God. God is the infinite – personal creator God and not the infinite – impersonal god who is in everything. Harriet and I have a Christian Spiritualty and not a Christian Religion. The differences are talked about in the hyperlinked post: Spirituality is quite different to Religion

Harriet and I so identify with what the  Psalmist David says: Psalm 19: 1- 4 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky displays what his hands have made. One day tells a story to the next. One night shares knowledge with the next without talking, without words, without their voices being heard. Yet, their sound has gone out into the entire world, their message to the ends of the earth.

I ran a small landscape design and construction company for 20 years from 1975 to December 1995, the month of my very severe brain injury. I undertook very creative, individual designer gardens for wealthy residential clients in Brisbane.

I was a lateral thinker ….. more artist than a businessman, very concerned with sustainability in a gardening and horticultural sense ….. can certain landscaping practices be maintained? ….. is this garden going to survive twenty years? I thought of a landscape as a three-dimensional piece of space which when people walked through it which had an emotional effect on them.

This space altered with time as it grew and changed according to the time of day: shadows vs. sun patterns, boulders, colour, plants, trees, earth-forms, solid structures and water. These were the ingredients in a subtle flow of landscape design and construction. Rather an intangible product to sell and run a business with!! From this, I built a structure for my life: my marriage with Harriet, a family business and a house.

The House:

In 1981, we built a unique natural house on our five acres of light open eucalypt bush at Chambers Flat, Brisbane which is 35 kms. out of Brisbane. The house is largely of glass set into a post and lintel construction of 100-year old broadaxed timbers and sandstone walls. The total concept of indoor-outdoor flow gives a wonderful ambience. Where does the bush, the garden and the house end and finish? We have endeavoured to set up our house as a communal house where people are made to feel welcomed and accepted.

I trust these few words give you an awareness for the motivation for building our hand-made house design.


Ken Aitken


The End of the Posts on Our House and Garden.