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An Elevated Take On Old Meets New

Interiors

This home in Hendra, Brisbane is equally nostalgic and contemporary, fusing influences of the original 1950s design, the Arts and Crafts movement, and surrounding suburban character.

Navigating site restrictions and the desires of the young family owners, designers Wrightson Stewart and architect Barbara Bailey reinvented the existing post-war house alongside an elevated extension.

The result is a contemporary home that’s perfectly tailored to the occupants, while remainley entirely respectful of the existing streetscape. 

27th September, 2021

Hendra Project is an alterations and additions project by Wrightson Stewart, in collaboration with Barbara Bailey. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

Terracotta in the interiors draws on the scattering of terracotta-tiled roofs across Hendra, Brisbane. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

Wrightson Stewart drew inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement and its philosophy of modest form and craftsmanship. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

The open-plan living area in the new addition. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

There is a strong geometry to the floor plan that encourages multiplicity of function. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

Shiplap joinery references the external weatherboarding. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

A joinery unit encourages exploration on the journey between the old and new structures. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

The transparent walkway facilitates connection to both zones and the streetscape. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

Terrazzo in the bathrooms provides a subtle nostalgic reference. Photos – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

The new structure takes full advantage of its height, offering views to the surrounding trees and rooftops. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

The breezeway connecting the original home and contemporary addition. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

 The kids zone (bedrooms, rumpus room, study, and main bathroom) is within the original structure, while the parents retreat and communal areas are contained to the extension. Photo – Kylie Hood. Styling – Lynda Owen

Amelia Barnes
Monday 27th September 2021

There was a lot of discussion about zoning and function, as well as thoughts on how to cross the threshold from old to new.’ – Ian Wrightson

The clients of this project in Hendra, Brisbane (about six kilometres north-east of Brisbane’s CBD) were very attached to their existing 1950s home – a weatherboard cottage typical to the subtropical area.

Realising the property was unable to sustain their growing family as is, they engaged designers Wrightson Stewart and architect Barbara Bailey to reconfigure and extend the existing structure.

A key requirement of the brief was to create two distinctly separate kids and parents zones. ‘There was a lot of discussion about zoning and function, as well as thoughts on how to cross the threshold from old to new,’ says Wrightson Stewart co-founder, Ian Wrightson.

In response, the existing house was moved forward on the block, followed by a transparent, elevated breezeway that connects to a contemporary addition. The kids zone (bedrooms, rumpus room, study, and main bathroom) is within the original structure, while the parents retreat and communal areas are contained to the extension.

The elevated nature of this extension is visually in keeping with the original home, as well as overland flow path restrictions that require new structures to be a minimum height above ground level. A space for car parking has also been facilitated underneath. 

‘The introduction of the breezeway and multiple decks along with the use of multiple window types allows the new structure to feel very connected to its surroundings, taking full advantage of this extra height,’ Ian says.

In developing the initial concepts for Hendra Project, Wrightson Stewart were drawn to the scattering of terracotta-tiled roofs across the suburb, reflected in the terracotta kitchen island cladding.

‘It aims to remind you of being a kid growing up in the suburbs!’ says Ian. 

The modest form of this bench is also inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement’s philosophy of craftsmanship.

Terrazzo in the bathroom is a further nostalgic reference in the project, while natural oak and Dulux Lexicon Quarter features in the communal spaces.

Both the old and new structures fit beautifully on the generous block, facilitating a better use of the overall space connected to the neighbourhood, landscape, and sky.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net