The place operates like a small village …
When two sisters bought a warehouse at New Farm in Brisbane’s inner north nearly a decade ago, they decided to live separately but communally with their respective families. Architect Tony Jemmott was commissioned to renovate the 400 sqm site with upper and lower accommodation levels, as well as separate studios. While one sister operates her ceramic studio from her home for her family of four on the lower level, the other shares a photography studio and home with her partner upstairs. “The place was it,” says Jemmott. “My clients wanted to establish two semi-separate residences from a very tight budget. Fortunately we were all on the same page from the start.”
Light and privacy were the two biggest hurdles to overcome. Three skylights were punched into the roof to draw light into the
height atrium, and also establishes a long, shared corridor below, framed by steel beams overhead. Jemmott arranged the wet areas of kitchens and bathrooms on 300mm-high concrete plinths on both levels, allowing the services to be concealed beneath. Concrete blockwork walls painted charcoal to create a “blank canvas” for treasured artworks.
On the ground level, a double-height roller shutter and adjacent front door open onto a gallery space. A small deck or “wintergarden” at the rear is wedged between two bedrooms, and opens to the communal family room. Access to the mezzanine level is via an existing vehicular and pedestrian ramp. The place operates like a small village where neighbours can open up or close off to each other as desired.
Discrete living … ( clockwise from top) The lower floor kitchen and living area; the upper floor equivalent, and its library.