Brisbane Renovation Architecture West End (Built 2020)

Owner’s dream

The vision

The property has been in the same family for three generations. The owners aim is to redesign the main living rooms into an open-plan living space. They hope this will allow natural light in during the day. Also, they will have stunning city views at night. Downstairs, they will double the on-site parking. They will add a bedroom and a sound-proofed music room under the house. The new pool area will house a self-contained guest space and entertainment area. The owners want the renovations to stay true to the original style of the home. Given that three generations of the one family had lived there. 

Site condition

Located on a small 266sqm lot in West End Brisbane. The home had been renovated before; multiple times. Once inside the house, the design didn’t flow well from one area to another. The three upstairs bedrooms with pressed metal ceilings clung to the living area. The block was sloping and the home was slightly elevated. Access offered one-car off-street parking on a busy street. 

Architectural designer solution

PlaceMate Architects found this project an exciting challenge. West End has some of the strictest town planning regulations in Brisbane. Council restrictions did not allow the home to be lifted. So the architectural designers built-in under the house instead. In doing so, the property appears to be a one-story structure. Therefore, it does not obstruct the view of the next-door neighbours homes. 

Excavating beneath the house

The new design included a fully self-contained guest retreat, music room, and internal staircase. The music room is made out of double-glazed, sound-proof material. It can also double as an office. The open-plan style of the lower level offers seamless indoor-outdoor living. As a result, the design flows out to the spa plunge pool in the private front courtyard. 

The lower level now has a staircase.  This helps the clients to achieve their dream. The staircase connects the with the upstairs living and the beautiful city views. Plus, the original veranda was reinstated with timber and large glass sliding doors. This brings the light inside. As a result, air flows throughout the whole home.

Project partners                                                


Antonio Invincible



BCA Certifiers






Carole Margand Caco Photography

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Client & Partner Testimonials

Jan has a great eye for detail. Her plans are very comprehensive and she thoughtfully considers every aspect of how her clients will live within the space she designs for them. She specialises in period homes and homes with character.


Manley Homes Manley Homes

We knew we only had one chance to get the look and the acoustics right and the room also needed to work if we ever sold the home.PlaceMate took into account not just the acoustics, but also the aesthetics of the room. We are delighted with their work

Greg & Trish Elgar Brisbane

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

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.