Inner city suburb

Renovation of a character building in inner city suburb takes full advantage of the natural attributes of the locality’s subtropical climate to establish an ideal residential alteration and remodelling for a growing family.

Brief writing

In electing to purchase and renovate an existing timber residence, the new owners fundamentally sought a remodel of the residence in a way to better match the people who could live there including growing children, guests and tenants. A range of private, familial and public spaces is suited to variable use, over the seasons.

The home extensions and interior design maximised the high ceilings, newly polished and painted timber floors, full share service kitchen with covered and deep open decks and protected outdoor sleeping areas. This included infilling a lower storey with: minimal excavation and no house-raising, instead of both as a cost and planning consideration; with comfortable bath areas accessible from the exterior and suited to the guest rooms; study areas; data services; and wet areas to each floor. Outdoor spaces provide varied benefits as garden, urban forest, and part time vehicle storage, as well as parking.


Sustainable and green credentials include abundant natural light, from tri-wall polycarbonate used as large wall openings, instantaneous gas hot water, plumbing for recycling waste water from low flow taps, water collection, and roofing from insulated sandwich panel. Ceiling fans are used with prominent passive ventilation techniques, including selective low level openings in pressure zones designed to integrate the interior design of light, materials and utility. Many elements have been salvaged and reused, including wrought iron fence gates and unused reinforcing remade as a decorative huge security openable screen, original ceramic basins, select timber, and many windows. A smart project for the inner city with close proximity to suburban rail and bus stations, parks, shops and services – a stone’s throw to doctor, newsagent, city library.

Despite being adjoined by a potential 5 other properties – all have privacy and a green view due to the backyard being planted out by an abundant urban forest serving to break down the afternoon’s western heat. Sunsets viewed from the high deck are equally filtered.

Interior design and planning

Interior design elements include quality, robust, and visually appealing materials at the ground level of family gatherings, including polished concrete floors, galvanised weldmesh railings, and laminated wall panelling throughout some rooms. Planning for the interior aimed at an open plan layout, subtly divided by blocked sightlines defining spatial buffers from secondary areas such as front entry, bathrooms, and the kitchen. The critical kitchen planning established a peninsula from the living area, providing a third access to the raised timber deck which wraps around the living area. The kitchen also then acts as a promontory into the garden with extensive overlooking to a pool, the back yard, and the street, applying particular detail to cantilevered island benches with openable surrounding glass to reinforce the nature of openness between the deck and the interior. Storage is built-in throughout all levels.

Great effort was made in the interior with openable walls from sliding, swinging and lifting large panels of lightfilled polycarbonate linings of varying translucency to maximise the benefit of the subtropical climate.

MULDER + KENNEDY ARCHITECTS0419 726 717[email protected]PO Box 1111 Surfers Paradise Qld 4217