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A London Mews Meets Brooklyn Loft Home… In Brisbane!

Architecture

An unorthodox site calls for an innovative design approach, and that’s exactly what DAH Architecture delivered in Indooroopilly House.

Inspired by the client’s desire for a ‘London mews house mixed with a Brooklyn loft apartment,’ the architects built an entirely new home on a battle axe block among Brisbane’s suburban culs-de-sac.

The liberal use of brick challenges the city’s architectural norm, establishing a clear design identity for the newly-built home.

19th July, 2022

Indooroopilly House is an established looking new house designed by DAH Architecture. Photo – Andy Macpherson

The design began with two seemingly contrasting inspirations — London mews and Brooklyn loft apartments. Photo – Andy Macpherson

The owner, artist Julie Gilroy, was always interested in a brick home, but required the expertise of a collaborative architect to fully realise the vision. Photo – Andy Macpherson

The owners; artist Julie Gilroy and her husband. Photo – Andy Macpherson

A two-storey entry void acts similarly to a central courtyard, introducing light and views from the front door to the rear. Photo – Andy Macpherson

Large sliding doors at the rear doors disappear into the brick cavity when opened. Photo – Andy Macpherson

British sensibilities are reflected in the building layout, while industrial influences (aluminium, concrete, and glass) are showcased in the material palette.  Photo – Andy Macpherson

The open-plan kitchen, dining and outdoor domain. Photo – Andy Macpherson

‘We loved the planted retaining wall at the front of the plot and immediately wanted to create a cobbled courtyard with the feel of a mews and then have big lofty spaces inside with large doors that opened to the amazing view,’ says owner Julie. Photo – Andy Macpherson

When open in summer, the back of the house feel like an outdoor verandah. Photo – Andy Macpherson

Photo – Andy Macpherson

Rooms upstairs are more defined for quiet relaxation. Photo – Andy Macpherson

Julie’s art studio gets prime views and cross ventilation. Photo – Andy Macpherson

The house design was also inspired by the surrounding, established greenery. Photo – Andy Macpherson

‘At our last Brisbane house we had various outdoor entertaining spaces, but we wanted to pare this house down and just have one large space that could instantly become indoor or outdoor by opening up the back of the house,’ says Julie. Photo – Andy Macpherson

The completed home with its established feel has exceeded the family’s expectations. Photo – Andy Macpherson

The liberal use of brick challenges the city’s architectural norm, establishing a clear design identity for the newly-built home. Photo – Andy Macpherson

Amelia Barnes
Tuesday 19th July 2022

Artist Julie Gilroy and her family were seeking something quite specific in their future home, starting with the ideal block. ‘We had been looking in the area for a while — potentially for a house to knock down — but there are a lot of heritage planning regulations in the area only allowing you to build Queenslanders, which was not what we wanted to build,’ explains Julie.

A newly-subdivided and empty block with no planning restrictions and beautiful views in Brisbane’s Indooroopilly presented the perfect opportunity. ‘We fell in love with it and had the land under contract within 48 hours of viewing it,’ Julie says.

Julie was interested in a brick home, but required the expertise of a collaborative architect to fully realise the vision. She selected DAH Architecture based on their portfolio (including the incredible Church House!) and owner David Hansford’s willingness to engage throughout the process.

‘I had spoken to a couple of architects before engaging David but it felt like they wanted to completely take over the project and not give myself and my husband the input we desired,’ she says. ‘David really listened to what we wanted.’ 

The design began with two seemingly contrasting inspirations — London mews and Brooklyn loft apartments — which David distilled into a cohesive aesthetic. British sensibilities are reflected in the building layout, while industrial influences (aluminium, concrete, and glass) are showcased in the material palette.  

‘At our last Brisbane house we had various outdoor entertaining spaces, but we wanted to pare this house down and just have one large space that could instantly become indoor or outdoor by opening up the back of the house,’ explains Julie of her vision. ‘We loved the planted retaining wall at the front of the plot and immediately wanted to create a cobbled courtyard with the feel of a mews, and then have big lofty spaces inside with large doors that opened to the amazing view.’

A challenge of the project was framing the southerly view while inviting adequate light into the home. DAH achieved this by creating a generous two-storey entry void, which acts similarly to a central courtyard, to introduce light and views from the front door to the rear.

‘This voided entry also acts like a gallery space for Julie’s art and a fulcrum of sorts for the variety of activity spaces throughout the home,’ says David.

Large sliding doors at the rear doors disappear into the brick cavity when opened, allowing the back of the house to feel like an outdoor verandah in the summer.

Rooms upstairs are more defined for quiet relaxation and work in Julie’s home studio. ‘My art studio was very important and got prime position upstairs with great light and cross breezes from front to back,’ she says.

The completed home with its established feel has exceeded the family’s expectations. ‘David has balanced the space so well; the proportions flow perfectly. It’s such an easy and enjoyable place to live and work.’

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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