A Classic Queenslander With Mid-Century Vibes

When Damian Goode of Hive Architecture arrived to see the site for his newest project in Bulimba (an inner city suburb of Brisbane), he discovered a rundown Queenslander that needed a lot of work. Despite its smelly interiors (!) it had good bones – the challenge the architects faced was finding a way to extend the home, while retaining the heritage qualities of a traditional Queenslander.

The resulting design is a lesson in fusing heritage architecture with a contemporary addition – without compromising on character. Suffice to say, they did a magnificent job!

Sasha Gattermayr

The kitchen is everyone’s favourite part! Painting (left): “Inland Spirits” by Fred Fowler represented by Sophie Gannon. Painting (right): “Next Door” by Monica Rohan represented by Sophie Gannon. Photo – Scott Burrows.

Custom timber joinery fits the kitchen with a rich, warm feel. Painting: “Next Door” by Monica Rohan represented by Sophie Gannon. Photo – Scott Burrows.

The terrazzo floors add a playful edge. Cabinetry by Blackwood Collective. Painting (left): “Inland Spirits” by Fred Fowler represented by Sophie Gannon. Painting (right): “Next Door” by Monica Rohan represented by Sophie Gannon. Photo – Scott Burrows.

The curved green wall is made from slim timber battens. Photo – Scott Burrows.

Looking out from the kitchen onto the wrap around verandah. Photo – Scott Burrows.

The double height atrium links the old house with the contemporary addition. Painting (next to stairs): “Unshrinking, Unthinking” by Monica Rohan represented by Sophie Gannon. Painting (passageway): “Everything Loose Will Land in LA / Double Golden” by Paul Davies, represented by Sophie Gannon in Melbourne and Tim Olsen in Sydney. Photo – Scott Burrows.

The sloping backyard was levelled to fit a pool and a number of terraces. Photo – Scott Burrows.

In true heritage Queensland style, timber slats are everywhere! Photo – Scott Burrows.

The view onto the pool. Photo – Scott Burrows.

What a spot! Photo – Scott Burrows.

This project fuses traditional architecture with modern innovations. Photo – Scott Burrows.

Double storey and freestanding, this generous dwelling is this family’s forever home! Photo – Scott Burrows.

Sasha Gattermayr
6th of October 2020

Originally built in 1924, this heritage Brisbane home presented a challenge for Hive Architecture. The firm were committed to find a way to extend the home to suit modern family living, while retaining the qualities of a traditional Queenslander.

‘Beautiful, usable family spaces were the cornerstone of the brief,’ architect Damian Goode explains. ‘There was a definite desire to restore the original character of the home, and build on this with contemporary features suited to modern living.’ The client also wanted to ensure that the final structure would retain a few of its original imperfections!

In short, it needed to feel like a home. To do this, the front portion of the house was retained in its original condition, while the rear section (containing the ramshackle kitchen, bathroom and dining area) was demolished and sensitively re-created, to make way for a contemporary communal living space. The new open-plan layout offers easy transition between internal zones, and between inside and out.

Damian’s new design centres around a towering internal gallery with a double-height ceiling. This atrium generously brings together the original front of the house, and the contemporary addition. As well as being a clever conceptual gesture, the expansive void also maximises natural light and airflow throughout the home.

To balance these major updates, significant efforts were made to ensure original detailing was retained wherever possible. Original hallway arches, wall linings and internal cottage-style doors were all retained, while new trims and cornices were installed to retain the original period feel of the home.

The steep sloping yard at the back was also levelled, to insert a pool and a series of terraces. The pre-Federation-style wraparound verandahs now overlook the various outdoor spaces. And yet, Damian says the forest green and terrazzo kitchen is always everyone’s favourite part! A curved wall and deep green tinted timber battens (with cabinetry by Blackwood Collective) softens this functional space, and the terrazzo flooring gives it a playful edge. This same shade of green is repeated in the concrete bathroom vanities, lending a mid-century-inspired flourish to this heritage homestead.

‘Back in 1924 the house sat proudly on the hill surrounded by few buildings,’ Damian says. ‘Now it sit proudly once again, but restored and sympathetically modernised.’

See more projects from Hive Architecture here.

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