The place op­er­ates like a small vil­lage …

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - CON­TENT - WORDS MARGIE FRASER

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.

PHO­TOG­RA­PHY ALI­CIA TAY­LOR

Dis­crete liv­ing … ( clock­wise from top) The lower floor kitchen and liv­ing area; the up­per floor equiv­a­lent, and its li­brary.

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