A good architect, as we all know, has a keen eye for detail. A really good architect, however, also has a very keen ear for listening and Brisbane based architect Paul Owen has both. As one of Brisbane's most sought after architects and the man behind award winning practice, Owen Architecture, you could argue that the secret to Owen's success is partly due to his love of a good story.
"I ask people to impart their stories, rather than prescribe a room list or a wish list" says Owen, "that way we can use the design process to explore the unknown and undiscovered possibilities". For the owners of this cottage 'Queenslander' home, their particular story begins with a marriage and a joining of both lives and possessions. Moving into their first home together as a newly married couple, the owners shared with Owen not only their back story and how they live but dreams of their future lives too. Planning for children, the couple wanted more space and another bathroom while also wanting a greater connection with the west facing backyard.
During his time as Director of Brisbane based architecture firm, Owen and Vokes and Peters, Owen's oversaw the design of the newly added ground floor level to include a dressing room, bathroom, home office and open plan living areas that connect and flow out to the garden. Upstairs houses two bedrooms, a dining area and kitchen and an enclosed verandah that has been painted in white. At the back of the house vertical timber screening painted in charcoal has been designed to provide shade from the glare of the harsh western summer sun. Polished concrete floors, painted exposed beams and a mix of both rendered and painted timber walls give this old weatherboard cottage a modern, contemporary feel.
With the renovation chapter of the home owners story now complete, news that a baby will soon join the family ensures that the story continues to unfold just as Owen's heard it.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Toby Scott