Shane Thompson Architects has redesigned Indooropilly House, resulting in a larger and more open space, but still keeping some of the original character. Initially designed with a weatherboard and terracotta tiled roof, modest in size, but while considered in its siting, planning and quality of construction, modern living demanded more guest and entertainment space, as well as generally upgraded interiors and a smoother connection to a generous outdoor living area.
The preferred approach for reconstruction retains much of the original fabric now repurposed for enhanced bedrooms, study, laundry and bathrooms, and a significant new addition accommodating the larger living spaces and car accommodation with higher ceilings. These two principal elements merge into a T-shaped plan with a new east/west wing, carefully stitched into the existing north/south wing.
An overarching concern to make the old and the new clearly legible from each other has influenced all work. Existing fabric wherever possible has been retained and repurposed, such as the former indoor brick fireplace which now serves as an outdoor fireplace to a new north-facing terrace, and the new wing which re-uses the existing terracotta roof tiles. There is a clear composed distinction between the parts, but nonetheless a cohesive whole is created.
Bagged and painted brickwork, in common use at the time of the original house is employed to the new wing and is complementary to the painted weatherboards of the existing house. This symbiotic relationship between the two is further emphasised in the interiors, where the old is largely more enclosed and hermetic, the new, comprised mainly of living spaces, is more open and permeable and embraces the garden spaces.
There is a blanket concern for quality construction detail, an eschewing of any fashionable design tropes and a complementary approach between old and new fabric and private and family spaces. Whilst the house has almost doubled in size and is more discernible from the street, the original modest and understated design character has been embraced and developed with a contemporary sensibility and a modern sub-tropical lifestyle.
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