This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Remarkable Reworking Of A Humble Gold Coast Shack

Architecture

The original house on this Gold Coast site was a quasi-1970s homage to a traditional Queenslander, containing a mismatch of styles and additions. 

The owners and ME architects sought to retain much of the existing property, while improving connections to the outdoors. The brief also requested added privacy to the rear of the home, without losing the front garden’s engagement with the street.

The updated home achieves these desires and more, looking to the property’s history and context for inspiration.

18th October, 2021

Cantala Avenue House is a reworking of a 1970s Gold Coast home. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The owners and ME Architects sought to retain much of the existing property, while improving connections to the outdoors. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Carving outdoor spaces from the plan was the most important part of the project.  Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The lounge was reconfigured into a dining area/outdoor room. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The new main bedroom is separated from an en suite by a lush lightwell. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The existing house and the subtropical location was all the inspiration required for a remarkable reimagining. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Greenery, light and air now infiltrate the home. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The updated house meets the needs of contemporary life but also talks to the history and language of the existing. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

As the house sits in a natural gully, it had very little privacy to the rear, so some of the first design moves centred around the creation of the garden wall and landscape.  Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

ME Architects have provided privacy to the rear while reinforcing the connection with the garden and sub tropical climate. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Colours reference to the city’s rich history of holiday cottages and mid-century houses. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Materials followe the language of the existing house including weatherboard and red brick. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The front of the home engages with passersby, contributing to the street’s character and sense of community. Facade paint colours: Dulux COLORBOND® Surfmist® and Dulux Mint Mousse. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The character and shape of the original home has been retained. Facade paint colours: Dulux COLORBOND® Surfmist® and Dulux Mint Mousse. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

The completed home is connected to place, climate, landscape and street. Facade paint colours: Dulux COLORBOND® Surfmist® and Dulux Mint Mousse. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones

Amelia Barnes
Monday 18th October 2021

‘We really have to reconsider this attitude of constantly demolishing and rebuilding anew.’ – Matthew Eagle

Matthew Eagle, founder and director of ME architects is not in the business of demolishing structurally sound homes. 

‘There is something to work with in every existing home, no matter what its bones are/history is,’ he explains. ‘We really have to reconsider this attitude of constantly demolishing and rebuilding anew. The Gold Coast specifically has a really rich built history and we should celebrate it instead of constantly trying to be something it’s not.’

The owners of this Miami, Gold Coast share the same attitude. Their existing 1970s property was unremarkable, but featured several rooms and a distinct character worth preserving.

The existing house and the subtropical location was all the inspiration required for a remarkable reimagining. Three existing bedrooms and a bathroom were retained to the west (requiring little more repainting); the lounge was reconfigured into a dining area/outdoor room; and the kitchen repositioned.

The north-east of the property contains the new additions, including a study to the front, and the main bedroom separated from an en suite by a lush lightwell. 

Carving these outdoor spaces from the plan was the most important part of the project. ‘Our process often begins with the development of the outside spaces and connection to the climate,’ says Matthew. ‘As the house sits in a natural gully, it had very little privacy to the rear, so some of the first design moves centred around the creation of the garden wall and landscape.  The small gardens carved from the new extension also allow for natural northern light into the new bedroom extension whilst providing protection from the harsh winter sun.’ 

At the same time, the front of the home engages with passersby, contributing to the street’s character and sense of community.

‘It’s not rocket science. A lot of time is dedicated to resolving practical issues but in a special way,’ Matthew says.

The completed project house meets the needs of contemporary life, but talks to the history and language of the existing property. It’s home connected to place, climate, landscape and street.

This Week

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

News

Visit Local Artist Kate Florence's Colourful New Exhibition

See (and shop!) Kate’s abstract paintings and sculptures created in collaboration with Neighbourhood Studio in Melbourne this week.
Christina Karras

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Minimalist, Semi-Prefabricated Beach House

Architect Hannah Tribe of Tribe Studio developed a prototype for a partially prefabricated kit home for her own family beach house in Bundee...

Architecture

A Bushy Family Home That Brings The Outdoors In

You'd never know that this clever home by Anthrosite Architects shields its occupants from a busy motorway on one side of the house.

Architecture

An Architecture Power Couple’s Extraordinary Concrete Home

Inside 'La Scala’ – the contemporary, concrete Brisbane home of architects Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence, co-founders of Richards an...

This Week

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

News

Visit Local Artist Kate Florence's Colourful New Exhibition

See (and shop!) Kate’s abstract paintings and sculptures created in collaboration with Neighbourhood Studio in Melbourne this week.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Minimalist, Semi-Prefabricated Beach House

Tribe Studio develop a prototype for a partially prefabricated kit home!

Architecture

A Bushy Family Home That Brings The Outdoors In

A clever home that shields its occupants from a busy motorway one one side of the house!

Architecture

An Architecture Power Couple’s Extraordinary Concrete Home

Inside 'La Scala’ – the contemporary, concrete Brisbane home of architects Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence, co-founders of Richards an...

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