Brisbane; the “big country town”. For years this city was a rural base and slipped behind the industrial grasp that held onto other capital cities of Australia. Over the years, this city has expanded like its capital counterparts. One difference that remains between Brisbane and other cities is the environment. Unlike flat-grid cities such as Melbourne and Adelaide, Brisbane is characterised by a crumpled terrain and serpentine river. This makes the city an Architectural treasure chest.
Characteristics of Brisbane
Cutting the city in half, the Brisbane river twists throughout the suburbs, creating peninsulas rolling along the outskirts of the water. These peninsulas have formed into suburban pockets such as Hawthorne, Balmoral, St Lucia, Fig Tree Pocket and West End. Rather than set gridlines, these terrains, peninsulas, and suburban pockets have defined the microcosms of Brisbane.
Because of these topographical definitions, this city is very socially mixed. Many suburbs are located on a crumpled terrain which distributes the social groups.
The age of Brisbane suburbs is generally seen in the location. Older suburbs like Newstead and Windsor are located closer to central, and then, much like the rings of the tree, expand outwards. Newer suburbs and estates like Springfield Lakes and Ripley are pushed to the outer corners of Brisbane as an effect of expansion.
Expansion didn’t happen in a smooth circle, however. This city started centrally, and grew alongside the river, setting out main corridors, train lines and tramlines. Although the city is smaller than other major cities, the dimensions of Brisbane and Greater Brisbane are quite large. If you start centrally and drive an hour in any direction, you will end up in a suburb still considered part of Brisbane.
Brisbane Through the Eyes of an Architect
The Renovation Line
An area worth renovating is an area that will generate capital gain for you if you stay put. If you are looking to renovate in newer suburbs like Springfield, moving to a new house completely may the best, more affordable option. Houses that were built as old as the 50’s and 60’s, however, are the ones to keep your renovation eye opened too. A renovation circle outlines this city, capturing suburbs as north as Stafford, as south as Salisbury, as east as Carina and as west as Chapel Hill. Anywhere within this bubble is worth renovating, as the value lies within the land.
The Concept of “Looseness”
Architecture serves to make a space more liveable, and in Brisbane this is both rewarding and challenging. The residents of this city crave life in a conflicting way. We want to feel the breeze, be connected to nature, live openly; but we also crave security. We want to see the outside, but not be seen from the outside. We want to feel the breeze but block out traffic noise. This balance is what architecture strives to achieve.
This concept of “looseness” is specific to Brisbane. Other countries and cities with cooler climates have a demand for tight-structured homes. The chill of the outside is banished, and comfort is found within the four walls. Architecture within Brisbane focuses on open, flowing spaces, and we push ideas of verandahs, large windows, and an enhanced connection to the outside.
Climate of Brisbane
Although the heat can be intense and the winter nights get chilly, Brisbane’s climate is generally wonderful. Through the lens of property, North East is the ideal position for a Brisbane home to be facing: cool in the summers and warm in the winters. Opening up the main living, creating that loose feel, and adjusting in accordance with North East represents the majority of jobs PlaceMate Architects receive.
The subtropical nature of Brisbane also drives us to be connected to the outside. Trees and gardens grow fast in this climate and give us the opportunity to live within the greenery.
The Satisfaction of a Brisbane Home
The art of architecture goes deeper than a beautiful building. A home is not only a physical space where you live, but also an emotional and mental investment. This is what architecture seeks to achieve with Brisbane families. PlaceMate Architects recognises the satisfaction of just being in the moment and feeling present with your house. Brisbane climate and structure allows many houses to have more than a road to a door. Many houses in this city have a driveway, gate, path before the front door. These are steps you are taking to leave the world behind you; to shed off the day.
We want people to have a good experience of home, and within Brisbane, an open, flowing home connected to a garden is what many families desire.