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.