This project in inner-city Brisbane celebrates the owners’ interests (fabrics, sewing and engineering) via a new studio and renovation to an existing home.
The low-key Queenslander was surrounded by wonderful established Poinciana trees in a leafy Yeronga street. It had suffered from being hacked around in previous lives – it was dark and closed off from the neighbourhood, with poor ventilation.
Tim Bennetton Architects wanted to enhance the home’s relationship to the street by creating a new entry, as well as crafting a multi-purpose studio to the rear.
“Greater affluence and more air conditioning means people tend to live inside a lot more. As a result, the feeling of living on the street and connecting with neighbours is being lost in Brisbane,” says Tim Bennetton.
“We wanted to bring back the joy of community to this family home. When the project wrapped up, we received a letter from the owners that simply said everything: ‘We christened the courtyard with the neighbours this evening, and met at least two new people wandering by.’”
The new studio is separated from the main house by a walkway and series of decks leading down to the back garden.
Conceptually, the studio is draped in a ‘cloth’ over two framed and glazed gable ends, which creates a sense of drama when arriving through the low entry door.
Lush sub-tropical planting embraces the studio from all angles. Tim Bennetton Architects has sensitively nestled the studio into the garden, retaining a strong connection to nature.
A limited budget called for an approach that delivered affordable innovation. The studio’s form allows the western glass wall to be kept largely without glazing. Meanwhile in the main house, several internal walls were removed to create a new breezeway, negating the need for air conditioning.
Tim says his practice’s approach is to achieve a lot with a little.
“Sometimes you don’t need to do very much to make a huge difference to the way a house works. This is particularly true of Queenslander homes. The owners invited us to their opening ‘concert’ held at the house, so we’re pretty sure they like it as we have also been invited back since.”
Tim Bennetton Architects has created a light-filled home for making things and hosting out-of-town guests, all while celebrating its lush, sub-tropical setting.