Attic Undercroft House +

The clients wanted to create a family home that would be memorable for their children. We agreed quality would take precedence over scale.

Place – Traditional city blocks have cottages that reinforce the street and gardens that form shared central landscape. The house is sited and scaled to merge into the existing lot patterns and maximize the garden.

Queensland cottages have a roof, centre and undercroft. Many local childhood memories were formed in attics and undercrofts. The house was imagined as only an undercroft and attic, a strategy that reinforced the memorable spaces.


The owners bought a block of land to have a house with a garden. The living space opens north to a small private garden, to access the sun and summer breezes. To the south is the back yard, which becomes part of the larger shared central landscape. The site dishes in the centre so the whole ground plan can be seen as one. The chain wire fences promoted interaction with the community, and become trellis for more planting.

Undercroft – The living spaces are in the undercroft, and are formed a series of concrete platforms and a timber deck. The undercroft opens to a private northern garden and to the south. Side walls are solid for privacy and are used as art walls. Like typical undercrofts, columns are concrete, the ceiling is exposed floor structure, the exterior is lined in rough sawn battens, and lights are inspired by workshop jars filled with nails and screws.

Attic – Bedrooms are located in the attic. Timber trusses cross the space, and are infilled with zig zag wall. Walls are located so the upper level feels continuous, and the trusses can be understood as an attic. Infill walls are construction from solid core doors, so door thickness and walls align.

The trusses are also exposed on façade, and infilled with perforated aluminum panels. The panels act as an insect screen, balustrade and a rain screen, so the upper levels can be left open.

West End, Brisbane
Completed 2016

Project credits +

Project Team: Angus Munro, Km Baber, Joe Papalardo, Rachael Gwaro

Photography: Christopher Frederick Jones

Structural Engineer: Optimum Structures

Builder: MCD Constructions

Landscape: Stephen Clegg