Before its transformative renovation was completed in 2020, Poinciana House was a family bungalow characterised by issues typical of an older home in Brisbane.
The existing property featured an upstairs area that was in largely good condition, but a lower level that had been poorly renovated in recent years, according to Nielsen Jenkins co-founder Morgan Jenkins.
‘It was a beautiful Queenslander-style house, raised slightly off the ground at the entry, but really disconnected from the ground at the rear, as the contours dropped away. The living spaces were at the rear of the house, towards the view, but were completely internal and extremely hot in the afternoon because they had no eaves or operability,’ Morgan explains.
This was a problem for the owners, who wanted to live in a ‘relaxed way’, connected to the home’s western aspect – while also being protected from the blistering heat.
Nielsen Jenkins’ resulting redesign consists of an unconventional extension that weaves new spaces into the original building, featuring cleverly placed ‘secondary spaces’ the family can retreat to when the sun is at its worst.
‘The protruding stairs actually serve to shade the grass courtyard in peak summer, and sliding shading screens allow the rooms to shut down without compromising the breeze,’ Morgan says. ‘We tried to pull the building apart so as to inhabit more of the site in different ways.’
Most of the upstairs and the old living room was retained, as the architects instead ‘cut a hole in the floor’ to establish a connecting void. They also introduced robust new materials such as charred timber, stone and blockwork, which serve to differentiate the old and new parts of the home.
Now, the new-and-improved family home successfully embraces its incredible view, overlooking trees and surrounding backyards, finished by gardens that settle the home into its natural surrounds.
See more of Nielsen Jenkins work here.