A Classic + Grounded Subtropical Renovation!

It’s a cottage in the front, a stilted Queenslander out the back. This modest family home in Paddington, Queensland by DAH Architecture came with a brief to be connected to the ground, while staying faithful to its neighbourhood roots and respectful of the native terrain.

Complete with ample deck space, a new pool and slatted window panels, this modern update fits the bill for a sleek and breezy sub-tropical living!

Sasha Gattermayr

The sloping geometry of the cottage front leaves the rear stilts invisible. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The mature olive tree can be viewed from multiple vantage points. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

A clean and simple kitchen is flooded with natural light. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Slatted panelling can be angled to give sun or shade depending on the time (and temperature) of the day! Photo – Cathy Schusler.

A modern interpretation of the classic Queensland sunroom. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Angular interior lines are made more 2020 with the arched doorways. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The master bedroom ensuite. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The master suite dominates the second storey. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

A study nook. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Idyllic indoor-outdoor fusion. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The organic slope allows for the house to be breezy and stilted, but still grounded. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The ample deck is well covered, making it an ideal wet season spot. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

The freestanding structure is airy and alive to the elements, allowing the hosue to give in to the natural surrounds. Photo – Cathy Schusler.

Sasha Gattermayr
11th of May 2020

How do you design a house on traditional Queensland stilts but still make it feel connected to ground? Building on a slope is a good start, and it helps when the client wants to minimise demolition to the existing structure. For DAH Architecture, it was mostly about taking advantage of the elements and the natural atmosphere of the home’s native surrounds.

‘This project is a great example of not needing 12-foot ceilings to produce a serene and comfortable space,’ explains architect David Hansford. DAH Architecture managed to successfully integrate the original house’s street-facing intimacy with the sloping landscape in a minimal renovation.

Air flow is key in sub-tropical climates, and the free-standing dimensions of the original dwelling enhanced the access and influence of natural elements. Slatted panelling coaxes filtered light from all directions, encouraging it to refract and dapple as it enters the living space. Large sliding doors open out on ample deck space which is boxed in by exterior weatherboard slats, rendering the hybrid indoor-outdoor space ‘an homage to the traditional Queenslander sunroom’.

In the end, ‘creating spaces that were unique, interesting and relaxing without compromising on functionality’ has delivered a classic and durable family home with touches of individuality.

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