It had served its owners well for nearly half a century, but this Bardon house was in dire need of renovation. The result: stunning.
From the street, the characteristic brick walls that surround this house in Bardon give little indication of the impressive restoration inside.
Brisbane architects Lachlan Nielsen and Morgan Jenkins recently completed the work, honoring the Californian modern-inspired design originally designed by architect Gavin Litfin in 1971.
“We really wanted to see it as a heritage project,” says Morgan. “We love this era of construction and we rarely get the chance to work with it. The last thing we wanted to do was bring ourselves over something so beautiful. “
After nearly half a century of service to the original family, the deteriorating home needed a little love and attention.
“The house was in pretty bad shape when we got here,” says Lachlan.
“All the box gutters were rusted and the downpipes were gone and the windows were leaking. The whole carpentry shop was shot. ”
However, the major repairs required did not affect the quality of the original building or the ability to redesign the interior in the mid-century architectural style.
“For us it was about strengthening some possibilities that we didn’t think were fulfilled,” says Lachlan.
Perhaps the most important change strengthened the viewing corridors of the original home.
“I’d driven past the house so many times and was just blown away the first time I walked in to take a look,” says Morgan. “The way it opens (to the view) is amazing.”
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From the front door the view slowly shows up, and the breathtaking view of the city shows up when the journey culminates in the living room.
A new veranda extension improves viewing and collecting.
“We designed the deck to block out the view of neighboring houses,” says Morgan. “And we deliberately lowered it to preserve the horizon line (now visible from the inside).”
In the living room, floor-to-ceiling windows – a hallmark of Californian modernism – frame the view of the bush and increase the feeling of elevation when the floor drops.
“It’s an amazing corner of the house; you feel right in the trees,” says Morgan.
New doors to the courtyard also improve the exterior connections, as does a new window that frames the view of Mt. Coot-tha.
New skylights allow a view of the sky and let the living room and the bathroom flood with daylight.
In the kitchen and bathroom, wall tiles by Heath Ceramics California and brass lighting from the USA pay homage to the origins from which this house took its architectural inspiration.
However, the real and calm hero of the project is the wood joinery which was specially designed and built for the project.
Each piece is seamlessly integrated into almost every room in the home and, along with mid-century-inspired furniture and collectibles, completes the lovingly rehabilitated example of a rare Brisbane gem.
Architects: Nielsen Jenkins Architects nielsenjenkins.com
Builder: Stewart Harris Constructions,
Telephone: 0413 673 491, [email protected]
Images: Shatanu Starick