After falling in love with the celebrated West End Cottage, Mike Hill and Tom Chai knew they wanted to the work with to design their own cottage home. They looked for a property in New Farm, Brisbane, and engaged the architects to create a simple and relaxed space the preserved the heritage of the site.
Mike and Tom were eager to have ‘access to a backyard for the dogs to play in, and a swimming pool to cope with the Brisbane climate.’ This presented an initial design challenge as Aaron highlights that ‘the original home was raised a full storey above the garden.’ In order to create connection between the home and backyard, the architects introduced a living space halfway between the house and ground.
Aaron explains ‘to link the old and new, we dragged down the original roof line at the back of the building to shelter and enclose new rooms.’ This move creates privacy from the overlooking neighbours, as well as creating a generous one-and-a-half height volume for the new living spaces. The architects worked with interior designer and to bring the property to life, as a home of simple, elegant comfort.
The renovation continues Vokes and Peter’s commitment to working with traditional timber houses. Aaron explains ‘we’ve tried hard to develop an architectural language, consisting of construction details, material choices and room planning strategies that pay homage to our timber-built heritage.’ For clients Mike and Tom, their reimagined Queenslander offers a bright and breezy environment for lounging with the dogs, and watching the sun shift and transform the spaces throughout the day.
While this project commenced with West End Cottage as a reference point, it has now developed to tell its own story, that reflects the client’s lifestyle and the particularities of the site. A renovation that forges a strategic middle-ground between indoor/outdoor and old/new.