HIGHGATE HILL. BRISBANE
Architects often get misty-eyed about Torbreck, the striking apartment building that sits prominently on a ridge in Brisbane’s inner-south Highgate Hill. Designed in 1957 by architects A.H. Job and R.P. Froud, and completed in 1961, the groundbreaking modernist block is home to many a design aficionado.
When architect Aaron Peters, of Vokes and Peters, and his wife, Rebecca Pouwer, bought their two-bedroom apartment there in 2012, they took the unorthodox step of converting one of the bedrooms into a dining room. “Removing the bedroom wall [and the kitchen servery] opened up the space and made the kitchen and dining area into one,” says Peters. Views can now be enjoyed from each of the rooms, including one to the west from the entry portico created by judiciously cutting a hole into the wall of the remaining bedroom.
Careful to keep the general layout intact, Peters raised the kitchen/dining area on a platform of parquetry, creating a “sunken lounge” effect for the adjacent living space that opens to a narrow balcony. “It was an exercise in how to detail and design the space as if the new elements were meant to be here,” he says.
Walls were painted white, and built-in joinery and furniture units inserted alongside vintage Parker lounges. The kitchen is a petite space that has been ingeniously fitted out with chevron-shaped blackbutt cabinet doors, folding in and out of the space in a zig-zag arrangement.
OPPOSITE page the “sunken” living room features parker lounges and inbuilt shelves and cabinetry. this page ( top) THE KITCHEN and ( far left) bathroom make full use of limited space; ( above) the distinctive torbreck exterior.