A Celebration in Heritage Architecture - Teneriffe House by Vokes and Peters
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
The once dilapidated and unrecognisable Teneriffe House has been injected with some much-needed love and attention by its considerate custodians to restore and extend its footprint. Vokes and Peters have taken on the responsibility with a respectful enthusiasm.
Located in the historical riverside inner-Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe, Vokes and Peters Architects have taken to the task of restoration, renovation and a reinjection of vitality with a sophisticated brush. The historic house was originally built in 1909 and left to ruin by its previous owners, with substantial deterioration and decay occurring as a result. Being that it is in such a richly heritage-laden suburb, the client saw the responsibility to restore the original house as a natural decision.
Not protected by a heritage overlay, the threat of demolition to make way for a new development could have been the likely path for this beauty, but the client had other plans. Designed originally by well-known Brisbane architect AB Wilson, the home had the makings of an important piece of not only history, but of its place in shaping the riverside location it sits amongst. Prior to the restoration, the original features and detailing had become almost unrecognisable and illegible, something both the client and architect wanted to change.
Vokes and Peters Architects have taken to the task of restoration, renovation and a reinjection of vitality with a sophisticated brush.
Its location so close to the centre of Brisbane, and its cultural surroundings became the foundation from which all design decisions were made. With several varying approaches available for the restoration and extension, a uniquely Queensland approach was adopted. The Queenslander, a style that has developed over many years and become the signature of the state, involving the lifting of the base to create an openness under a dwelling was the most obvious direction.
Being that it is in such a richly heritage-laden suburb, the client saw the responsibility to restore the original house as a natural decision.
Vokes and Peters decided on what they refer to as the ‘raise and build-under’ strategy, which can be further broken down into three stages. The first composition of parts is where the house itself is to become ‘a house on stumps’, implying this raising idea. The second component is referred to as the ‘re-occupying of the plan’, where a deliberate engagement with the historic narrative of the architecture takes place. And lastly, the third component was the integration of a ‘stair room’, where a generous room connects all the levels.
The resulting form, timeless approach to materiality and geometries sees the restoration as a place that fits within its heritage, but also adds significant value to the urban fabric through its considered extension. Teneriffe House maximises its elevated position with beautifully articulated gestures and moments throughout the internal spaces. To think it could have been demolished if it had not landed with its current owners highlights the important role of custodians in restoring significant existing architecture.