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Elevating A Classic Queenslander, In More Ways Than One!

Architecture

Teneriffe House by Vokes and Peters sees a classic Queenslander elevated in every sense of the word. Not only does the project breathe new life into a 1909 house, it has also been literally elevated onto concrete columns, in order to reclaim space underneath.

Architect Stuart Vokes from Vokes and Peters describes the project as ‘quintessentially Brisbane’, but the vision is irrefutably unique. The design succeeds in rehabilitating and preserving the house, while providing robust updates to create a contemporary family home.

26th March, 2020

Teneriffe House by Vokes and Peters. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

A brick paved extends from the new ground floor kitchen. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Concrete and rough-rendered masonry meet painted timber shakes. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

New timber shakes give a handcrafted quality to the project, as the edge of each shake needed to be painted prior to installation. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The architects, Vokes and Peters, are THE Brisbane firm to watch! Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Old meets new. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The updated floorplan sees the kitchen occupy the hero ground corner position facing the pool to the east and garden to the north. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The house is ideal for indoor-outdoor Queensland living! Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Connecting the entire house is a new stair ‘room’ combining drama and practicality.  Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The design succeeds in rehabilitating and preserving the unprotected house, while providing robust updates to serve as a family home. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

In the original rooms of the house, the architects rediscovered the spirit of their design by ’emptying the plan’ of all prior interventions such as built-in cabinetry and new bathrooms. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

This project was a complex undertaking, first involving the rehabilitation, conservation and extension of the historic house designed by prominent Brisbane architect AB Wilson. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The classic Queenslander style verandah has been retained. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The home offers views across neighbouring suburbs. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Not only does the project breathe new life into a 1909 house, it has also been literally elevated onto concrete columns in order to reclaim space underneath. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Amelia Barnes
Thursday 26th March 2020

When presented with a 1909 house last used as a mental health hostel, a visionary approach was required. Enter Vokes and Peters, who recognised the cultural significance of the unprotected house, and were able to balance these with the needs of the new owners.

This project was a complex undertaking, first involving the rehabilitation, conservation and extension of the historic house designed by prominent Brisbane architect, AB Wilson (whose family continue to run Wilson Architects today). The operator of the former hostel had enclosed all of the verandahs to maximise dormitory spaces, stripping the house of much of its character in the process. ‘Consequently its original relationship to its setting, beauty and elegance were almost illegible,’ says Vokes and Peters architect, Stuart Vokes.

The architects approached the renovation using the classic ‘raise and build under’ strategy commonly applied to Brisbane homes. Concrete and rough-rendered masonry was selected for the new supporting walls of the house and garden walls, which Stuart says ‘helps us manage practical issues relating to structure, termites and water, but also accentuates the delicate nature of the painted carpentry of the original house.’ Painted timber shakes (shingles) were then chosen as an addition to the original painted weatherboard cladding. ‘The shakes are like the shaggy sibling of the weatherboard,’ says Stuart. These timber shakes also give a handcrafted quality to the project, as the edge of each shake needed to be painted prior to installation.

The updated floorplan sees the kitchen occupy the hero ground corner position facing the pool to the east and garden to the north, then extending to a paved brick area. In the original rooms of the house, the architects rediscovered the spirit of their design by ’emptying the plan’ of all prior interventions, such as built-in cabinetry and new bathrooms. Connecting the entire house is a new stair ‘room’ combining drama and practicality. 

Vokes and Peters are definitely THE Brisbane practice to be watching right now. In addition to taking out the Residential Architecture category in our inaugural TDF Design Awards for their Subiaco House last year, Habitus magazine named their Teneriffe project their House of the Year 2019! 

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