Located 10km from Brisbane’s CBD, and with a rich history going back to the 1830s, Michelton has a blend of character and heritage with the convenience of modern city-living. This striking post-war cottage has been sympathetically reimagined by Shaun Lockyer Architects to harmoniously fuse the old with the new. Given the property has been in the family for two generations, this was crucial to the owners’ brief.
“Where other designers spoke of endless rooms and multiple storeys, Shaun spoke of bespoke finishes, light-filled spaces, efficient design, and maintaining the character and history of the house, all of which was far more in keeping with what we had in mind for our long-term sentimental family home,” says the client.
It was also important that the home was contextually responsive, thus the architect opted for a mix of brick and timber with a layout that centres around a new primary living pavilion that engages inhabitants with the landscape.
“The brick specified was Black and Tan from PGH Bricks’ Smooth range, which draws on the post-war vernacular that characterises the local neighbourhood, with the balance of the house focused on retention and restoration,” says architect Shaun Lockyer. “We have used this range of bricks before and so had confidence in its texture, colour and application.”
A lofty pitched ceiling with ample glazing ensures plenty of natural light floods the living areas while enhancing the sense of space and adding to the property’s individuality. The juxtaposition of this characterful, textured brick and richly-coloured timber infuses the home with a warm, welcoming ambience and also serves to keep out the Queensland heat thanks to the bricks’ superior thermal properties.
“The main challenge with this project was to reconcile a pragmatic brief within the context of a post-war home that didn’t adequately address contemporary lifestyle,” says Lockyer. “This meant the design needed to find economical ways to achieve all the accommodation necessary while minimising the amount of disruptive work to the existing fabric. However, this constraint ultimately created opportunities to subvert the traditional entry sequence to the property and create a more casual, engaged form of living.”
The owners’ choice of decoration - Scandi-style wooden furniture and contemporary lighting – brings a cool, modern touch to the home. Combined with sleek, handless joinery throughout, the overall look inside is both pared back yet luxurious, allowing the architecture and building materials to remain the focus.
According to Lockyer, the clients wanted a “simple, robust home that was economical in size, but poetic in outcome, as well as being contextually responsive”.
“It helped that our clients were true to their values and prioritised quality over quantity,” he adds. “The outcome of this admirable virtue was that a home of relatively modest budget was able to be delivered in a way that is truly special; manifested in the intimate, comfortable and relaxed cottage they now call home.”