Brisbane Renovation Architecture West End (Built 2020)

West End Workers’ Cottage

Owners Dream

This West End workers’ cottage 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

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

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

Jan Hogarth has the wonderful ability to listen and focus on the clients brief enabling her to present a creative design, making certain to have incorporated the clients requirements.

Good communication is at the essence of completing great projects. We feel that Jan’s communication with all parties involved in a projects is exceptional, :- sub contractors, engineers, the principle 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 Building Contractor

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.