Queenslander-style homes capture breezes and create shaded, naturally cool living spaces. This addition, Jacaranda House, designed by SP Studio takes all the elements of a traditional Queenslander and reinterprets them for modern living, creating a bright and breezy addition which takes the Queenslander to the next level.
Scott Petherick designed the addition for his own family (we love when an architect gets to experiment on their own home). The addition to a 1920s-era Ashgrovian style Queenslander needed to create a family home flexible enough to serve Scott's family for the next 20 years. All family spaces needed to be on one level, while a separate space was required for Scott's architecture studio.
"Remaining authentic to the core of the building, and the inherent elegance of the Queenslander, was critical", Scott explains. "This meant picking up on the traditional Queenslander language of expressing the construction method and featuring beautiful timber work."
The addition deals with the slope of the block by carving the studio space into the hill beneath the house and creating a terraced garden to connect the living areas with the studio below. This creates a peaceful studio that remains cool thanks to the thermal mass of the earth and rock behind it.
Above, the living area is open to breezes and has an incredible relationship to the garden. Large timber sliding doors retract to open the new kitchen pavilion to the outdoors, making it more like a covered outdoor space than a traditional room; a garden kitchen. In fact, Scott explains the kitchen is designed to feel more like a deck, common in Queenslanders.
Large eaves typical of Queenslanders are great for creating shaded spaces, but they can block out views of the sky and treetops and can leave living spaces feeling dark. At Jacaranda House, the eaves are turned upside down and transformed into a filigree pattern with battens. Combined with the home's namesake Jacaranda, this filters beautiful dappled light into the kitchen.
A movable linen curtain which is weighted to act as an external shade when the sun is low in the sky wraps around two sides of the kitchen. This is combined with a concealed window on the western wall to maximise breezes and benefit from wind tunnels in the valley to keep the pavilion naturally cool.
Opposite the kitchen, a new master bedroom has been designed to pop out from the original floor plan. This creates a courtyard space to the south of the kitchen. An outdoor fireplace bookends this courtyard, creating an external wall to complete the garden room.
Jacaranda House draws on the strengths of Queenslander homes but, importantly, it also updates the traditional approach to rectify some of the style's shortcomings. Where a traditional Queenslander can feel dark in internal living spaces, Jacaranda House embraces the light. Where most Queenslanders are disconnected - literally - from the garden, this home bleeds into the outdoors, creating a garden room that feels more like a covered outdoor space than an internal room. At every turn, the qualities of a Queenslander have been embraced and reinterpreted to create a family home perfect for Brisbane's climate and character.