Brisbane Renovation Architecture West End (Built 2020)

West End Cottage Renovation

Owners Dream

This West End cottage renovation 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 266 sqm 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 cottage

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 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 – West End cottage renovation



Antonio Invincible



BCA Certifiers






Carole Margand, Caco Photography

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Client & Partner Testimonials

Jan Hogarth has the wonderful ability to listen and focus on the client’s brief enabling her to present a creative design, making certain to have incorporated the client’s requirements. Good communication is the essence of completing great projects. We feel that Jan’s communication with all parties involved in a project is exceptional; – subcontractors, engineers, the principal contractor, and clients.

Jan always presents herself professionally and deals with any situation calmly and promptly. My company has always enjoyed working on a great number of projects in which we have been jointly involved, several of which have been Award Winning Designs.

Tom Ryan (retired builder) Retired Builder

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

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

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.