West End Cottage is an existing pre-war cottage in Brisbane, QLD that has been carefully modified and extended to meet the needs of a family with four young boys.

Designed by Vokes and Peters, with Steve Robson serving as the builder on the project, the cottage used a mix of five different brick types from PGH Bricks & Pavers to create a textural, tactile surface. Located on a flood affected site, the house was required to sit well above the garden to provide flood immunity.

To provide access to the outdoors for the growing children, the architects decided to create a new brick courtyard at the heart of the building. This robust space introduces natural daylight, encourages passive ventilation and allows nature to permeate the rejuvenated building. The masonry is also sufficiently robust to survive possible flood inundation.

Conceptualised as a piece of terrain, the masonry courtyard draws the garden up towards the living areas of the cottage. An outdoor fireplace, brick chimney and arched firewood recess catch the north light throughout the day. A broad brick stair provides a place to sit and also allows easy access to the backyard.

A blend of five different brick types, Macarthur Mix, Blackett, Mowbray Blue, Black and Tan (Smooth), and Copper Glow (Smooth) along with articulation in the brick coursing, all installed by bricklayer Robson Constructions, creates a textural and tactile surface with variable shadow patterns and light qualities that can be enjoyed from the living areas of the house.