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Macintosh Home

 Renovating a Queenslander - how the old corner store melds home and work.

Macintosh St house was the original corner store for its area, and built to boundary on both its street frontages.  It had seen many incarnations prior to becoming a family home for our clients. DC8 Studio were excited about the opportunity to update a classic Queenslander.

Having lived in the unrenovated property for some time, the clients wanted to be able to effectively utilise the whole dwelling and yard, whilst providing opportunity to work from home in a contained and separate space.  The design needed to happily house a young family as well as a successful photography business.

Preserving a character home

We sought an outcome that protected the character of the original dwelling and its contribution to the streetscape.  Utilising a similar approach explored in other studio renovation projects, the existing dwelling underwent minor alterations (including being raised in its current location) and a new pavilion was added to the rear.  This extension creates new living and sleeping spaces that maximise the solar orientation, views and inherent qualities of the site.  It also responds to the strong character architecture of the neighbouring properties, yet is expressed as a contemporary form, and isn’t limited by the constraints of the original dwelling, working to harmonise with it rather than mimic it.  

The outdoor room

The pavilion addition was kept compact to maximise yard space and meet the constraints of local town planning.  The built edge was pulled back from the northern boundary to ensure good solar access to the downstairs living areas and minimise the impact of overshadowing, as so often occurs on these closely spaced neighbouring small lots.  The strong connection between interior and exterior enables natural surveillance of the garden and extends the internal living spaces.  Spaces are open plan giving flexibility of use.  The internal void between existing and new parts of the house brings legibility to the design and connection of movement between the floors.  

The corner location facilitated the creation of two entries – one on Macintosh Street for the home business, and the other on Beard Street for private visitors.  The private entry occurs in a two-storey void that acts as a threshold zone between the old and new parts of the house, and displays the connection point both internally and externally. Tucked under the existing roof form, it creates a transition and opportunity for the pavilion extension to be clearly articulated from the existing dwelling.

A double height outdoor living area creates a dramatic outdoor entertaining space to the rear of the property and frames the suburban vistas available from the upper floor.  The folded form of the roof wraps over to privatise these areas from the long street frontage, protect from western sun and create a strong visual element on the streetscape.

Our clients had this to say about their project and working with DC8 Studio:
“Our house was an old corner shop built right out to the boundary on a sloping 405sqm block.  It was subject to character residential, demolition control and small lot restrictions.
The renovation needed to accommodate a growing family and a work from home photography studio, all within a moderate budget.

Over an extended period of nearly three years (2008-2011), Amelia provided invaluable assistance and support to us with every single aspect of the approval, quoting, sourcing, construction and finishing stages.Her vision and design ability in being able to take a dilapidated Queenslander and turn it into the space we have now is nothing short of amazing.
Amelia’s greatest strength is that due to her significant experience, she is incredibly knowledgeable about every element of the design and building process. She provided key advice and solutions on endless issues, particularly when we encountered a problem or were having budgetary troubles.

Amelia is also proactive – you cannot put a value on how important this is to keep a project moving along – it also means that potential problems are anticipated and avoided. She is thorough and sets very high standards for herself - on more than one occasion throughout our project she went above and beyond what would normally be expected.

We cannot recommend Amelia highly enough – she is exceptional.”