A Glass Addition Lends Loft-Style Living to a Traditional Australian Cottage
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A Glass Addition Lends Loft-Style Living to a Traditional Australian Cottage

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By Melissa Dalton
DAH Architecture renovates a Queenslander in Brisbane to better connect with a steep slope and capture light and breezes.

The punch list for this remodel was long. To start, the original 1,000-square-foot Queenslander sits on Brisbane’s fifth steepest street. When the clients purchased it, "It lacked connection to the ground and to outdoor entertainment areas, and integrated poorly with the extreme slope it sat on," says architect David Hansford of DAH Architecture. 

In order to remedy that, the firm specified a new garage with master suite over it, converted the original home into bedroom spaces, and added a double-height, open plan living "pod" to the rear, so as to integrate an existing pool and create usable outdoor space. 

The 1,000-square-foot home was expanded to 3,000 square feet in the remodel and addition.  

A new garage is topped with a master suite and clad in James Hardie Scyon Linea boards painted a dark color, Dulux Monument.

When the clients, a young professional couple, expressed interest in a contemporary addition, the firm balanced that rear treatment with a more understated profile at the front. 

"We felt it was important to remain sympathetic to the house’s character in the streetscape with some subtle foreshadowing of what lay [behind]," says Hansford. "The large gabled extension to the streetscape pays subtle homage to its character beginnings. The metal frame, mirrored opening, dark cladding, and reduced eaves really make this extension pop without being too obvious."

At the rear, a double-height, glass-walled extension links the main living spaces to the exterior.

The pool was there previously but was "quite disconnected from the house,"  says Hansford. They were able to reuse it in the new design.

The clients needed a home that was up to the task of entertaining, and which could adapt to a growing family, all of which the new layout addresses. Also, "the client valued light, volume, and breezes, as well as seamless, open-plan living often connected with loft-style apartments," says Hansford. None of these wish list items could be found in the existing Queenslander, as it had suffered "strange alterations" over the years.

The ceilings are over 14 feet high in the main living spaces, with interior design by Elm Interiors. "Large glazing panels to the north achieved the contemporary, loft-like aesthetic the client desired, and functioned to improve light and ventilation," says Hansford.

In the kitchen, Laminex Absolut Matte Black cabinets are topped with counters from Pop Concrete.

A workspace has an integrated Laminex counter.

The floor and walls in the master bathroom is wrapped in large-scale, ceramic tile for a uniform look.

The firm relocated the front door to the side of the house so that visitors can enter at grade into the home’s new public areas. An entry arbor covers the walkway and creates privacy from elevated neighbors for the bedroom on that side.

A balcony off the bedroom wing overlooks the street and sports a tiled floor.

Glamorgan Street floor plan

Related Reading: 

Before & After: A Rundown Brisbane Cottage Turns Into a Ravishing, Modern Home

An Australian Cottage Gets a Mediterranean-Inspired Revamp

Project Credits:

Architecture: DAH Architecture / @daharchitecture

Builder: Ian Fowler

Structural Engineer: Northey Consulting Engineers

Landscape design: Therese McGroder 

Interior Design: Elm Interiors

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