Text via the architect, Arcke. The design focuses on a central verdant courtyard that is visible from upper and lower levels. The scheme is defined by new circulation routes that follow the old veranda and improve spatial relationships.
The design strives to enrich the daily lives of the occupants by creating moments of joy and increasing opportunities to engage with the landscape.
Our clients loved the location of their home, but had been looking for another house in the area that could grow with them as their children started high school. Underwhelmed with their options, but happy with the size of their house, they felt they should re-renovate and initially considered adding an upper level.
The house is situated within a quiet city fringe suburb that is characterised by timber workers cottages predominantly built between 1900-1940. As a character and demolition controlled area of Brisbane, there is a relatively consistent streetscape of the Queenslander style house – elevated timber framed construction with chamfer board, or weatherboard timber cladding.
Open verandas and steep pitched metal sheet roofs are also a typical feature of the period. This style of construction originally utilised locally available materials and was a unique climatic response to this specific region of Australia, informing its own style of construction.
Our practice seeks to derive a rich and detailed understanding of the original dwellings, through research and analysis.
This informs a considered design response. Preserving the character of the original building, whilst respectfully reinterpreting contemporary interventions is a delicate balance. The subject site is long and narrow, like its neighbours, with an approximate 10 metre wide frontage and length of around 40m. The total site is 405m2.
In this context, part of the challenge on this project was finding an architectural response that facilitates quality of light, ventilation and intrigue within the central core of the house, not only the end extremities. This informed the evolution of the central courtyard.
A new procession of entry to the house is established from the street up the front stairs to the open veranda and front door on the eastern side. The decision to “give back” to the streetscape with a generous landscape zone sans front fencing is a positive civic contribution and an integral part of the arrival sequence.
Upon entry the hallway wraps its way playfully around the eastern perimeter of the house in a series of mitred turns around the central courtyard. Walking the path of the old veranda allows the living room to be unimpeded by traffic.
To the right is an open desk nook before arriving at the kitchen and dining pavilion. The form at the rear unfolds into the more significant uplifted gesture to the rear and a transparent engagement with yard and pool beyond. The courtyard acts as a lush verdant light well to the central core of the house and allows transparency and permeability throughout. Considered sight lines up, down and through the courtyard afford opportunities for observation and interaction with lower level children’s spaces together with alternate vantage points within the building.