refresh design builds woolloongabba gardenhouse in a queensland backyard
refresh design builds woolloongabba gardenhouse in a queensland backyard refresh design builds woolloongabba gardenhouse in a queensland backyard
jun 06, 2016

refresh design builds woolloongabba gardenhouse in a queensland backyard

refresh design builds woolloongabba gardenhouse in a queensland backyard
all images by roger d’souza




in a brisbane inner-city suburb, architecture studio refresh design has developed a model of infill-development, designed to increase the density of urban areas. the scheme — named ‘woolloongabba gardenhouse’ — serves as a response to the scale of sprawling australian homes, which are among the largest in the world. the project has been conceived as a blueprint for similar ‘gardenhouses’, transforming the underutilized backyard of an existing property into a multi-generational home.

the dwelling is located in an inner-city suburb of brisbane




the surrounding neighborhood is characterized by traditional queensland cottage-style homes, many of which have been renovated and extended. responding to this context, the design team embraced traditional materials, including corrugated metal, weatherboards and timber elements, to express a distinctly contemporary form. following the plot’s sloping terrain, the sequence of indoor, outdoor and hybrid spaces offer either integration and connectivity, or separation and privacy, to allow for maximum flexibility.

the design team embraced traditional materials, including corrugated metal and timber




in order to achieve the brief’s requirements within a relatively small budget, the architects developed a number of cost-effective solutions. one strategy was the double use of spaces. examples include the combination of the kitchen island bench with the dining table, and the incorporation of the laundry within the powder room joinery. another solution was to use burnished concrete to avoid costly tiling, and the polishing of the slab or form-ply to enable the design of custom joinery, while avoiding the usually costly finishing.

the dwelling opens onto the garden at the rear of the plot

open-plan living accommodation includes a kitchen/diner and lounge

the kitchen island bench adjoins the dining table

a timber staircase leads to the bedroom above

the stairs also provide access to the remainder of the existing house

the bedroom features an en-suite bathroom

the bathroom with separate shower and tub



floor plan / upper level

floor plan / lower level

section (click for larger version)



project info:


architecture & interiors: refresh*design — erhard rathmayr, monika obrist & gareth hartnell
location: woolloongabba, queensland, australia
completed: 2015
structural engineer: incode engineers
builder: truform constructions
certifier: bartley burns
photography: roger d’souza

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