SLa restores historical design to an eclectic Queenslander using a contemporary combination of PGH bricks
According to Queensland architect Shaun Lockyer, in nine out of 10 cases, he wouldn’t usually try and match existing brickwork. However, in the case of this unique restoration project in the Brisbane suburb of Ascot, that’s exactly what he recommended.
Shaun Lockyer Architects was invited to be involved in the project before the new owners had made an offer on the property. “The house is a unique blend of traditional Queenslander, Colonial and Tudor architectural styles. During the fifties or sixties the brickwork was added to the base to lift the single level, and we used these existing structural elements and the outdoor piers as cues to continue the brickwork,” said Lockyer. “We approached the project as a recreation and restoration that required a contemporary finish.
“Not long after the property was purchased we met with the client in a café, where I sketched my design thoughts, and the finished home didn’t divert much from that initial drawing. The client was very engaged in the project however they trusted our judgement and are very pleased with the outcome.
“As there had been an injection of brickwork to the house many years after the original construction, we felt there was some licence to try and match the existing brick colours. The PGH range offered us the best blend and availability for this project, and the guys we worked with visited the site to learn more about what we wanted to achieve, before recommending a mix,” continued Lockyer.
“The combination of Smooth Black and Tan (40%) and Copper Glow (25%), with Dry Pressed Macarthur Mix (30%) and Mowbray Blue (5%) was very compatible. The new form is very playful and using bricks allowed us to be architecturally expressive in ways you can’t be with other building materials. How the house sits on the land is a major consideration for us. The Kitchener Road site was relatively flat, and how we cut into the land with retaining walls and stairs celebrates the brickwork. Brick had been used inside and outside the house, and having a heavy grounded brick base with the light Queenslander on top, was a familiar style in the area. It felt obvious to us to work with brick and it has made this house very special.
“We kept the brickwork simple, however the bricklayer was very flexible and worked with us to create geometric patterns behind the fireplace and around the courtyard to create playful patterns of light and shadows. What’s so lovely about the brickwork in this project is that it’s a combination of heavy and light application. The brickwork has been used as an artistic installation is some respects, particularly with the towering wall in the backyard, which is a bookend to the back of the property.
“Internally, the existing brickwork was restored and repointed. This seemed to have been part of the original construction, and while not the prettiest element, we felt the history of the home was more important than design or colour consistency. The same PGH bricks mix used externally was used internally to create dark and more intimate spaces at the back of the house.
“Overall, the project was a pleasure. CGH Constructions were outstanding, and the result has remained true to the doodle I sketched in a café,” commented Lockyer.