About the project
Maritimo is a landmark Brisbane riverfront home designed by prominent local architects, Hall and Prentice – the architects of Brisbane City Hall; and built in 1925 by renowned Brisbane builder, George Henry Turner as his personal residence. Turner was a highly regarded local builder, responsible for New Farm Powerhouse and the Light Street Tram Depot. The house retains a direct line of sight to the Powerhouse across the river to New Farm maintaining this historic connection.
The Hall and Prentice design was for a grand riverfront home utilising Californian Bungalow and Spanish Mission style characteristics, as well as several features that set the house apart from the typical homes of that era. These included the large verandahs facing the river, the grand ballroom on the lower level, accommodation for multiple vehicles on site (rare at a time of limited motor vehicle ownership), a full size tennis court and a series of garden structures that contribute to form a unique setting for the house.
The house is locally listed on the Brisbane City Council Heritage overlay and is significant for both its stylistic characteristics and its historic association with these prominent Brisbane figures.
Conrad Gargett was privileged to have the opportunity to refurbish, upgrade and enhance this highly significant Brisbane House.
The project brief required maintaining the character, key spaces and dramatic setting of the place while upgrading the house for contemporary living.
The key new design elements included adding a new master bedroom at roof level with commanding views of the Brisbane River and across to New Farm Park, a new internal connecting stair and lift to provide access between all levels, adding a new open plan kitchen, new bathrooms and a new entertainment terrace cascading down to the reinstated tennis court and riverfront boat house pavilion.
The project also included critical conservation works to repair the building fabric, safeguarding the house from further deterioration.
The design approach was two fold
Firstly, to preserve the character of the existing house through maintaining the key spaces of high significance intact, while repurposing rooms of secondary significance to provide the modern services and amenity functions. This included the expansion of the original small 1920’s kitchen and opening up to the main living spaces.
Secondly, to design exceptional new interventions as contemporary but subservient to the existing house. This included the new open plan roof level Master Suite as a glazed attic extension and the new grand sculptural central stair.
When we decided to take on the largest renovation we had ever imagined, on a difficult site, and heritage listed house – to make matters even more challenging – we immediately gravitated to the team at Conrad Gargett. Their experience and design skills ensured our family’s modern lifestyle requirements integrated seamlessly with our 95 year old home. The beauty and history of the home was honoured and respected, and would remain relevant for another 95 years.
The Owners, Maritimo
The design outcome provides a comfortable juxtaposition of the original character with modern additions and amenity.
Maritimo has both retained its original grandeur and been further elevated as a significant landmark Brisbane home designed for contemporary living and entertaining.
At all times during the design process the team at Conrad Gargett were in total control solving difficulties projects like ours can deliver unexpectedly, with the end result being our dream home from both an aesthetic and liveability perspective.
The Owners, Maritimo
2022 AIA Architecture Awards — Commended for Brisbane Region Heritage Architecture