AIR House

A breath of fresh air, Karda Constructions Air House renovation is an empathetic adaption to what was previously a tired, unsafe 1960’s chamferboard house. Perched on the face of a steep Brisbane suburban hillside, the original house turned it’s back to the dramatic mountain views and the hot western sun with a monolithic wall that gave little to no connection to the backyard and site proper. On the inside, the warren of rooms did not match with the lifestyle aspirations and personality of our clients, the newfound occupants of the house. The brief, steep site conditions, access limitations and existing house layout and construction proved to be a unique building challenge, with renewal being a target concept for all facets of the project.

In order to breathe new life in to the house, Karda Constructions worked collaboratively with our Clients to design a transformation that would be light, breeze filled, comfortable and connected – an Air House. With a modest budget, the attitude to traditional construction techniques and materials had to be practical and honest. Significant change and remodelling of the existing house form was not a reasonable approach. Instead, through the judicious removal of existing internal walls and structurally unsound elements, with the considered integration of new window and door openings and a colour scheme face lift, the house gained a whole new persona while the original floor area remained largely the same. This somewhat simple spatial reconfiguration strategy also provided the opportunity for good solar orientation principles to be adopted to create improved and more comfortable spaces for living that are breeze and light filled and that celebrate the unique attributes of the site and SE QLD lifestyle. 

Balanced with the addition of a series of functional and flexible deck spaces, and a unifying stair, the renewed house essentially evolves around a series of platforms for living that prioritise spaces for connection, gathering and entertaining. Blurring the divide between inside and out, the house now invites the garden and views in. Exemplifying this, and fringed in a veil of fine timber battens not unlike the filigree of the Poinciana below, the main covered upper deck provides an extension to the adjacent internal Living spaces, catching the breeze and providing a dramatic sun drenched platform for views out, both near and far; to the backyard, productive gardens (and Pool), and to the mountain and sunsets beyond. Privacy to neighbours is also considered, without limiting the relationship to outside and to distant views. 

A newly defined entry platform and timber link provides connection to the street and a welcome threshold to the house. With a dual purpose as a secondary deck for living, this space celebrates the northeast aspect, soaking up the sun in a semi-private garden courtyard where bees buzz, dogs romp and little crawlers explore. Upon entry to the house, spaces again take on a dual purpose, both as a disappearing home office for two thriving businesses and as Art Gallery. Like the lifestyle it supports, the house is efficient, uncluttered and designed for affirming wellbeing and for nurturing the health and aspirations of its’ young family occupants. It does not concern itself with meeting preconceived housing market ideals. Instead, it quietly excels by being honest, functional and user-friendly. It is inviting and it prioritises space for living, not for cars, service or wet areas. Sensible in detail and construction, it is not pompous, hollow or egocentric. It is about its’ place – a place as home and as an extension of the people and life lived in it. 

Karda Constructions are proud to have respectfully turned this house around – to have opened it up, faced it out and to have comfortably settled it in to its place.  It no longer turns it’s back. Instead, this house now lets the air and good times flow.


BUILD • KARDA Constructions

WORDS • J Weber


AWARD • Queensland Master Builders Award for Renovation up to $275 000