Black Betty House, Brisbane, Queensland Home Renovation, QLD Residence, Australian Architecture, Building Photos
Black Betty House in Brisbane
11 June 2022
Architects: Studio 15b
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Photos: Angus Martin
Black Betty House, Australia
This original Queenslander cottage was purchased by the Client just prior to their first child entering the world. They quickly did some small renovations with plans for more major work to happen later. After their second child was born, the time had come to add more space and more toilets to Black Betty House!
They did not want to raise the existing home but desperately needed additional space for their growing children and visiting family. A new two storey extension in the place of the existing rear deck was decided on. This gave the family much needed additional space while not taking up much more of their small lot.
The new upper level is essentially a parent’s retreat, however, is flexible and can accommodate such functions as a nursery or guests if needed. The new two-way ensuite/bathroom on this level also supports this flexible arrangement.
The existing cottage rooms have been repurposed. The original front playroom is now a perfect two-person office. The existing main bedroom is now a Multi-Purpose Room for the kids and has been pivotal in the overall design. It is a flexible space that can be closed off or opened for connection to the living areas. This room opens to the north letting much needed light enter the living areas – whether closed or not – through new frosted glass doors. When opened there is a lovely visual connection from the front of the house all the way through to the rear green garden. Also allowing the possibility of extending the living areas into one space for larger indoor gatherings.
The existing renovated bathroom drove the design to an extent. It was given much needed privacy from the living spaces with a feature blackbutt timber screen creating a hallway and separating the living / dining spaces.
Between the cottage and the new upper level is the redesigned open planned Kitchen, Living and Dining areas. The kitchen, while slightly separate from the living spaces, still allows a visual connection. The new stairs are tucked away with the pantry utilising the space under. A small but efficient secret laundry is behind the kitchen joinery. This is another flexible space that can be used to hide mess when entertaining. Large 90 degree sliding doors enable the entertaining space to extend further with a lovely connection to the established rear garden.
The internal colour scheme simply tied in with the existing blackbutt floorboards giving a relaxed classic feel. Externally the original cottage has been kept white while the new upper-level extension is black – giving this project its name – our ‘Black Betty’ house. A fitting description which is a combination of the old and the new.
What were the key challenges?
The challenge was to provide additional space with a moderate budget which meant that raising the home was not an option. They needed flexible use of space as well as an efficient floor plan that could simplify family life, while improving connection to the lush rear garden.
What were the solutions?
Desperately needing additional space for a growing family – but not wanting to raise their existing home – led to some clever design ideas for this original Queenslander cottage.
In place of their existing rear deck, we decided a new two storey extension was the answer. It gave the family much needed additional space but also allowed for repurposing the existing cottage spaces to fit their family’s needs.
The house now features:
*A parents retreat, with a flexible layout that could house a nursery or guests
*A perfect two person office
*A large multi-purpose room for the kids
*Larger Living and Dining spaces with a beautiful blackbutt screen
*Larger Kitchen and Pantry with hidden Laundry
*Large 90 degree sliding doors that open to the rear garden
*All round flexible and efficient spaces with emphasis on family life
Black Betty House in Brisbane, QLD – Building Information
Architecture, Interior Design: Studio 15b – https://www.studio15b.com.au/
Project size: 237 sqm
Completion date: 2022
Building levels: 2
Photographs: Angus Martin
Black Betty House, Brisbane, Queensland images / information received 110623 from Studio 15b architecture
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
photography: Paul Smith Images
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