Fifth Ave House

Restoring a connection between living spaces and the ground

A common dilemma in Brisbane’s hilly suburbs is the feeling of disconnection people experience from the ground below. The roads follow the ridges and the cottages perch out from these ridgeline roads.

This renovation looks at how a renovation might allow life on the upper platform to connect down through the lower parts of the dwelling and through to the garden beyond.

With a wide view of the city and mountains to the south west this renovation enhances these views and allows protection from the severe southern weather.


The key move of this design was the removal of a portion of the upper floor and upper deck and the creation of a two storey sheltered volume that visually and socially connects life on the upper deck with life on the lower deck and yard area beyond. A new central stair ensures that a clear sight line is established between the kitchen island and the pool and entertaining areas below.

The dark and deep reveal that surrounds the deck areas provide shelter and frame the distant view. A skylight above the kitchen draws Northern light and warmth into the rear southern living areas of the dwelling. Family life can now comfortably be lived across both levels of the house and interaction with the ground below has been restored.


Project Team: Matt Cooper, Marguerite Pollard

Engineer: Westera Partners