Brisbane Queenslander Architecture (Built 2019)

Owners’ dream was a lift and build renovation

Daniel and Jane moved to Brisbane from Scotland with their young family to embrace Australia’s warm climate. Their dream was to renovate their outdated Queenslander into a generous, open-plan family home for a relaxing haven in their busy lives. Jane’s style was classic Georgian, while Daniel preferred classic 60s. PlaceMate Architects’ design solution was a lift and build renovation under the existing house at Auchenflower.


Site Condition

The existing property was located in central Brisbane on a sloping site that fell from the street onto a large north-facing backyard. A low-deck roof obstructed a picturesque view of the other side of the valley. The main living room was dark and had too many doors taking up precious space. Disconnected from the ground below and with a complicated layout, this once grand but shabby Queenslander did not suit family life.


Architectural Designer Solution

PlaceMate Architects designed the total makeover to expand and open into the suburban valley garden.

We decided to lift and build under the house to avoid obstructing neighbouring residential views. The verandas were restored to their former glory and the arches reconstructed into private rooms. The garage was positioned at the front of the house, and the original front door was reinstated on the lower level.

A sky window was built above the stairs, and floor platforms progressively widen further down the property. They eventuate into a wide open-plan living area with 3.6m ceilings. This opens on to a double-height terrace and wet edge pool, surrounded by terraced play areas and a beautiful tropical garden.

Interior details reference the family’s journey. The white timber and leadlight detailing respects the Queenslander’s traditional past while the polished concrete floors, restored fireplace and window seats reflect modern life. Aqua and gold tiles were purposely used to symbolise water and the sun in a tropical paradise.

Daniel and Jane had input on every part of the design and construction process. It was built on time and on a budget in a style that suited both their tastes and left them with their perfect forever home.

Project Partners

Builder – Stewart Harris


Certifier – Integrated Construction Approvals

Engineer – Kelvin Krofton



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Client & Partner Testimonials

My favourite real estate agent said “Your renovations are fabulous, I still think you have best designed kitchen“ I must say I agree with her. I do love my little place and my beautiful kitchen makes me happy every day.

Jenny Doust Ashgrove

Our experience with Placemate Architects was outstanding. They did three
things we appreciated, and nothing we didn’t.

They focused on understanding our needs and what we wanted.

They, Jan specifically, consistently generated creative design options to
assist in the extraordinary number of decisions that need to be made from
the very big to the very small.

And they matched us with exactly the right builder, the excellent Harris

Our decision to work with Placemate Architects meant we got what we wanted,
on time and on budget.

Stephen and Lynne Day New

For an architect, Jan’s not an idiot.

Dave Maguire Builder

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.