A residential project in Brisbane has revitalised an existing Queenslander, and pulled a bit of a magic trick. On the 760-square-metre block where the single 1944 weatherboard used to sit, there are now four townhouses.

When reinterpreting the shape, proportion and features of the house, the project team at Refresh Design were careful to ensure the new design took cues from the existing structure and context. The four additional dwellings were designed as contemporary, three-storey reincarnations of the classic Queenslander form.

The original house still forms part of the project – called ‘Habitat on Terrace’ – but now sits alongside a new townhouse at the front of the site. At the rear, the remaining three townhouses are joined by a continuous gabled roof.  


Refresh Design raised the existing Queenslander and relocated it towards a two-storey timber house next-door to the east, while the new townhouse was sited to the west, closer to a neighbouring three-storey unit block. As a finishing, site-sensitive touch, the new home was clad in a white weatherboard-like material.

As well as referencing the gabled roof, bay windows and white colour scheme of the original house, the new townhouse borrows its height from the adjacent unit block.


The three rear dwellings repeat the same design concept – borrowing the significant features of the Queenslander – and form a set of three ‘glued together’ houses. The northern and southern fa├žades have been linked with a ribbon of folded metal, which forms the triple-gable roof that extends down to bookend the form on the east and west sides.