Restored historic building is home for people in need
- Last updated:
- 25 June 2021 3:19PM
- First published:
- 25 June 2021 11:10AM
A historic inner-city Brisbane building has been modernised to provide comfortable community housing in a joint project between the Queensland Government, local building contractors and Bric Housing.
Grant from Housing Partnerships Office said that the project is significant because the building has heritage value.
Historian Helen Bennett, who was commissioned to prepare the heritage report for the building, said it is a well-preserved example of Brisbane’s interwar multiple-occupancy dwellings.
“The building was designed by prominent Brisbane architect E.M. Ford of Chambers and Ford and built in 1940. It is one of eight remaining rooming houses of a total of thirteen built between 1937 and 1940 which were originally designed as serviced rooms for single working people or travellers,” Ms Bennett said.
“The front façade is a good example of the inter-war ‘Old English’ style and features multi-coloured bricks laid in a stretcher bond pattern, asymmetrical design, a protruding gabled turret resting on a corbel and recessed arched entry.”
Grant said, “the original rooms were like shoe boxes”. The goal was to increase the room size by combining smaller rooms without destroying the heritage features.
“Heritage features such as the exposed brickwork, decorative ceilings and cornices, picture rails and terrazzo floors have been retained.”
Jane, General Manager Housing Services at Bric Housing, said the building was very tired before the renovation.
“It was a dark and pokey building, and Bric Housing struggled to maintain a positive sense of community there,” Jane said.
“Now, the building is light and airy, with new timber-look flooring, a fresh coat of paint inside and out, and brighter, more homely lighting. The bathrooms look like something out of a house and homes magazine.
“Tenants each have their own bedroom and adjoining kitchenette/living room, with built in cabinets. It’s a spacious and high-quality living area.
“The rooms have been very positively received by the new tenants, all of whom were in emergency accommodation or crisis accommodation during the COVID-19 response last year.”
One tenant said, “It feels just like a real house.”
Tenants receive more than just a room. They receive on-site support from a range of different support services and a welcome pack. The welcome pack, provided by the Communify Patrons Group, includes sheets, pots and pans, dishes and cleaning equipment.
Find out about the help we provide for Queenslanders who need access to housing.