This Brisbane Home For Sale Is a Lush Sanctuary

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By Michele Koh Morollo
An extensive trellis runs the length of this adaptable home on a river gully, helping it feel like a tropical oasis despite being just three kilometers from the city center.

Designed by award-winning Australian practice Andresen O’Gorman Architects and completed in 1997, Rosebery House is a 2,699-square-foot Australian residence that’s thoughtfully layered to create a powerful sense of transition, transparency, and enclosure. The house is now for sale through Modern House—price upon request.

The house includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an artists’ studio.

The house includes four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an artists’ studio.

The home feels porous and well-connected with nature.

The home feels porous and well-connected with nature.

Composed of three double-story pavilions punctuated by two voids, and linked by the trellis structure, the interior spaces transition seamlessly to the outdoor spaces.

Composed of three double-story pavilions punctuated by two voids, and linked by the trellis structure, the interior spaces transition seamlessly to the outdoor spaces.

The pavilions are connected by multiple stairwells, open decks, and covered walkways that wind along the outdoor areas.

The pavilions are connected by multiple stairwells, open decks, and covered walkways that wind along the outdoor areas.

Stairs and corridors weave through outdoor areas to create a sensual, tropical-resort ambience.

Stairs and corridors weave through outdoor areas to create a sensual, tropical-resort ambience.

The vertical Japanese slat details imbue the house with a Zen-inspired aesthetic.

The vertical Japanese slat details imbue the house with a Zen-inspired aesthetic.

Within each pavilion are spaces for sleeping, bathing, working, eating, socializing, reading, and contemplation. 

Within each pavilion are spaces for sleeping, bathing, working, eating, socializing, reading, and contemplation. 

At the center of the house, on the upper level, is a kitchen and dining area fitted with glazed walls that can be opened to connect with the outdoor decks and green landscape.

At the center of the house, on the upper level, is a kitchen and dining area fitted with glazed walls that can be opened to connect with the outdoor decks and green landscape.

Set on 9,106-square-foot, sequestered, river gully plot in Brisbane’s Highgate Hill suburb, and surrounded by large trees and climbing plants that encourage dappled light and shadows, the house features a massive trellis that runs along the full length of the house. 

On the southern side of the house is library and living room with a fireplace. 

On the southern side of the house is library and living room with a fireplace. 

A daybed is set along the southern wall, next to two translucent screens that present beautiful views of the Brisbane River when opened.

A daybed is set along the southern wall, next to two translucent screens that present beautiful views of the Brisbane River when opened.

"It’s the type of space where you could feel like you are a hermit in the middle of a rainforest," says the current owner, "but then the sounds of a tennis match float in on the breeze from the opposite riverbank and remind you that you are in a city."  

"It’s the type of space where you could feel like you are a hermit in the middle of a rainforest," says the current owner, "but then the sounds of a tennis match float in on the breeze from the opposite riverbank and remind you that you are in a city."  

This trellis provides protection from the western sun, draws in cooling breezes, gives the interiors a high level of transparency, and strengthens its connection to the lush vegetation outdoors.  

All the bedrooms have small balconies.

All the bedrooms have small balconies.

The pavilion on the northern end of the house holds the four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The pavilion on the northern end of the house holds the four bedrooms and two bathrooms.

A bathroom in the northern pavilion.

A bathroom in the northern pavilion.

With the craftsmanship of builder Lon Murphy elevating the design, Rosebery House is a rare, nature-soaked oasis close to the city that not only responds to the topography of its site, but enhances it. 

The children’s bedrooms are located on the upper level, closer to the dining area, kitchen, and decks, while the parents’ bedroom are located on the lower level for more privacy.

The children’s bedrooms are located on the upper level, closer to the dining area, kitchen, and decks, while the parents’ bedroom are located on the lower level for more privacy.

A hallway that runs the length of each pavilion helps improve circulation and provides storage areas.

A hallway that runs the length of each pavilion helps improve circulation and provides storage areas.

The indoor/outdoor feel of the house is intensified by the three primary views of the river, towards the forested entry path, and to the sky.

The indoor/outdoor feel of the house is intensified by the three primary views of the river, towards the forested entry path, and to the sky.

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