Brisbane Renovation Architecture (Built 2020)

Owner’s dream

Jason & Diana’s had a vision in mind for their West End workers cottage. The main living areas needed to be redesigned open-plan to allow in natural light and access to the stunning city views. There needed to be two on-site parking spaces, an additional bedroom, a pool and a downstairs sound-proofed room to practice music in, & the downstairs also needed to function as a self-contained guest space and entertaining area.

Site condition

This home was located on a small 266sqm lot in West End Brisbane. It had been previously renovated multiple times and thus had a disjointed lack of flow. There were 3 bedrooms scattered around the interior under imposing pressed metal ceilings. The house slightly rose from the street with space for only one car park. The property had been in the family for three generations and it was important to the owners that the renovations complemented the structural style of the home.

Architectural designer solution

West End is known for having some of the strictest town planning regulations in Brisbane, so this project made for an exciting challenge for the PlaceMate Architects team.

The home was not allowed to be lifted due to council restrictions, so our architects generated a design that excavated under the house instead. In doing so the property still appears to be a one-story structure and no view is lost to neighbouring homes. 

Excavating beneath the house allowed for a whole new level that now consists of a fully self-contained unit, music room and internal staircase. The music room was constructed out of double-glazed sound-proof material and can also be used as an office. The lower level is structured in an open-plan style and flows out onto a spa plunge pool in the new grassy front courtyard. 

The upstairs interior was partly demolished to open up space towards the beautiful city views. The structure of the original veranda was reinstated with timber and large glass sliding doors. This brings inside light and airflow throughout the home.

Project partners                                      


Antonio Invincible



BCA Certifiers





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Client & Partner Testimonials

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

PlaceMate is trustworthy. If they say they’ll do something, they do it. The finished product makes us all look good. Some architects are really expensive, and the owners have to wait a year to see them. PlaceMate gives just as good a service, quicker and at a reasonable price

Nathan Forbes Rise Constructions

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.