Owners Dream

The owners of this Ashgrove property wanted to makeover and expand their traditional 1950s house into a forever home. They needed four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a double carport to suit to their family lifestyle. The owners wanted better functionality and flow throughout their home, and the renovations had to be in keeping with the existing heritage features.

Site Condition

The property was located on a steep sloping site in a prime, convenient area of Ashgrove, Brisbane. The existing three bedrooms, single bathroom and outdated living areas felt cramped and disjointed in style. The back outside living area had little access to sunlight, and the main entry to the home was via a set of uncovered outdoor stairs. The kitchen and bathroom had well reached the end of their lifetime, and the site was so steep it was not possible to extend forward or underneath.

Design Solution

PlaceMate Architects designed a renovation to suit perfectly with the needs of this family home. The existing structure, sloping site and strict council regulations made for a complex challenge but the finished product included all the elements the owners had envisioned.

The outdoor living space was replaced with an elevated “pod” that acts as an entire new wing. The pod includes a bathroom, three new bedrooms and an internal set of stairs leading to the original structure. The elevated height captures once hidden city views, adding $50000 to the property value. Beneath the pod extension now lies an open outdoor living area, bringing in space and flow throughout the entire lower level of the home.

The modern new kitchen, dining room and living space are now the centre of the downstairs hustle and bustle. The open plan structure allows in fresh air and natural light. The main living room boasts large glass windows on all three sides and a new timber porch extends out towards the street. Beneath it lies a tucked away double carport.

Every inch of available space is designed to work towards making the structure of the home feel spacious and open. The internal stairs give a sense of arrival and allow for dry access to the garage. The new kitchen brings a sense of modernity to the traditional home, but also brings inside the northeast aspect. The pod allows for more upstairs space and a bigger, brighter outdoor area. All heritage features were complemented by the renovation, and the project came in on time and budget.

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Client & Partner Testimonials

Renovating our home with the assistance of Placement and their relationship with Phil Maher Builder was essentially a stress free adventure.

PlaceMate worked with us to achieve our dream home. Our home was modernised without losing the charm of a post war cottage.

Our house has become a functional, open & light filled home. Which is now the central family meeting place.

We even discovered that Architects, Engineers and Builders DO get on and work well together.

Even though our budget was small, through the architectural skills and listening skills, PlaceMate turned our needs into the home we wanted.

Beth & John Owners

Builders build, tradies trade, but the architect has the vision and ideas. Thanks Jan for your wonderful suggestions.

Stephen Stone Owner

Jan, you did a fantastic job translating our unformed ideas into a classy home, fulfilling all our requirements. We are most impressed that you were able to design such a unique and spacious home on a small block and yet one that blends in with the ambience of the suburb without being ostentatious. Your choice of building materials was inspired and the design incorporating the high ceiling in the living/dining/kitchen area impresses everyone who sees it. We also appreciated your no-nonsense, straightforward, approach to the whole project. Congratulations on a great job

Lola & Ian Binch Owners

Best use of a steep site

PlaceMate topped the state for best use of a sloping site over $250000 at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards. The award was for the design of two contemporary townhouses built on a 500sqm site that dropped 10m from a busy road. All the bedrooms and living areas captured picturesque city views.


Best renovation $250-$500,000

PlaceMate took home the prize at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards for the best renovation between $250,000 – $500,000. The winning renovation was a 1910 cast concrete Californian bungalow-style home in Indooroopilly. The design added a new wing and unified alterations undertaken in 50s, 70s and 80s.

Recognised in The Courier-Mail

PlaceMate’s skills were recognised in The Courier-Mail for our transformation of a Shorncliffe residence originally built around 1910.

Registered with Board of Architects Queensland

Registration Number 2457

Our Client Success Team

Placemate Architects works with successful and innovative clients. Together we achieve significant and lasting transformations of cities, houses and landscapes.