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Brighton Twin Set




2016 AIA Queensland Architecture Awards
State Medal (Job & Froud Award) for Multiple Housing


The Brighton Twin Set is a duplex created from a culturally significant, architectural ruin of four flats located in Highgate Hill, Brisbane. A labour of love for the clients who were inspired by the opportunity to restore and rebirth the building whilst expanding on the inherent character.

The conversion of the flats into two dwellings required revised planning creating flexible living arrangements that appeal to varied household types and home work opportunities. Adding enclosure to the basement / service level expands the programme and improves the building’s connection to the site and landscape. Removal of the dilapidated lightweight verandah/fire stair enabled the grafting of a new architecture that extends the living areas and supports the twin-set balconies that capture north facing light & city views.

The new extension integrates respectfully to the existing building both in scale and materiality. Modern render contrasts rustic stucco and sculptural cantilevers and chimney elements build on the existing ‘interwar’ character.

Design inspiration is drawn from Brisbane’s interwar architecture however subtly, and the existing symmetry is quietly subverted in the new extension. The existing interiors are partly restored and partly remodelled using similar subtlety incorporating modern geometry in familiar materiality. The new interior architecture of the extension has further layers of material richness embracing the visually decorative existing.

Restoration of the building required substantial structural rehabilitation of the concrete frame, brick walls and timber framing. The surgical removal of redundant structure enabled new bracing and modern fire resistant building elements to be constructed, ensuring the structural stability and future longevity of the aging building.