Owner’s Dream

Daniel and Jane had moved from Scotland with their young family and wanted to embrace Brisbane’s climate and open living in a generous family home that would be an easy-care haven in their busy lives. Her style was classic Georgian. He preferred classic 60s.

Existing House

The existing property fell from the street to a large north-facing backyard that would have faced a tableau of stacked Queenslander roofs on the other side of the valley had a low deck roof and ripple glass not blinkered the view. Disconnected from the ground below and with higgledy-piggledy rooms built in, the once grand but shabby Queenslander did not suit family life. The central living room was dark and full of doors.

Our Design Solution (built by Stewart Harris)

We wanted to create a space that expanded and released into the suburban valley garden. The original house was raised, its verandahs repaired and its arches reused and converted into the family’s private rooms. We placed the garage at the front and reinstated the original front door on the lower level. From there, floor platforms progressively step down and widen, past the central pivot space of traditional stairs with skywindow, to a full width, open plan living area with 3.6-metre-high ceilings and on to a double height terrace, wet edge pool, terraced play spaces and tropical garden.

Interior details reference the family’s journey;  the white timber and leadlight detailing respects the restored Queenslander’s past. The polished concrete floors are practical; the fireplace and window seats reflect modern life. Aqua and gold tiles symbolise water and sun in a tropical paradise.

Owner, Daniel collaborated on every part of the design and construction process, which came in on time and on budget, to everyone’s satisfaction.

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Our Happy Clients

I have been working with Jan on small and large projects for over 15 years. These ranged from small extensions to very complex projects, one which was awarded the Master Builders best renovation over 250 k and the quality and workmanship award. Working with Jan has always been a pleasure, and despite whatever difficulties a large renovation throws your way, Jan always displays the ability to work though it, providing the best result and a pleasurable working relationship. Jan’s designs are practical, efficient and work for the needs of the client. I can speak for this as Jan designed my home in Camp Hill.

Stewart Harris Builder

For an architect, Jan’s not an idiot.

Dave Maguire Builder

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

Stephen Stone Owner

Best use of a steep site

PlaceMate designs topped the state at the Queensland Master Builders Association Housing & Construction Awards for best use of a sloping site over $250,000 for two contemporary townhouses built on a 500sqm site that dropped 10 meters from a busy road. All four bedrooms and living areas captured the city views.


Best renovation $250-$500,000

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

Recognised in The Courier-Mail

PlaceMate’s skills were recognised in The Courier-Mail in January 2016 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.