Pre­serv­ing past glo­ries, with Margie Fraser

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - INSIDE THE WEEK - MARGIE FRASER

Af­ter ad­mir­ing this 1970s house in Fig Tree Pocket for years, ar­chi­tect Shane Plaz­i­bat and his wife Liz man­aged to buy it as soon as it came on the mar­ket. “I knew the house, and knew its his­tory,” says Plaz­i­bat. “I used to run past it all the time as we lived not far away.”

Orig­i­nally de­signed by ar­chi­tect Lou Hai­ley, of Con­rad Gar­gett, the home in Bris­bane’s west had served one fam­ily for 43 years. Set in a cul-de-sac fa­mous among afi­ciona­dos for its splen­did ex­am­ples of ar­chi­tec­ture, the house is an­chored into a steep, bushy slope with glimpses of the Bris­bane River be­low. “It needed a bit of TLC,” notes Plaz­i­bat, “But we didn’t change the plan at all. It had great bones to work with.”

The flat-roofed house is mod­est in scale, but its liv­ing spa­ces are clev­erly con­nected. Brick and tim­ber walls are punc­tu­ated with large ar­eas of glass, look­ing out to tall gum trees that in­habit the steep gully.

The Plaz­i­bats re­moved se­cu­rity screens, re­placed old car­pets and lights, and in­stalled new tiles and paint­work. A Car­rara mar­ble bench now graces the kitchen, and Amer­i­can wal­nut was used in the join­ery. Bath­rooms were resur­faced in black gloss tiles, while an orig­i­nal din­ing ta­ble, de­signed by another fa­mous ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tice, Hayes and Scott, was pur­chased from the previous own­ers. A cock­tail bar was re­tained in the lounge area, rem­i­nis­cent of Palm Springs (US) homes circa 1960, and the orig­i­nal pool was also re­tained and re­stored.

The mas­ter bed­room and liv­ing spa­ces are up­stairs, and bed­rooms for the cou­ple’s two teenage sons are on the level be­low. The gar­den was also re­vived, with a bit of as­sis­tance from Janet Con­rad, the orig­i­nal land­scape ar­chi­tect and a neigh­bour.

“GREAT BONES” THIS AR­CHI­TECT-OWNED HOME IN BRIS­BANE’S WEST RE­TAINS ITS ORIG­I­NAL 1970s PLAN; ONLY THE FINER DE­TAILS WERE CHANGED

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