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2016 National Architecture Awards: Heritage Commendation

Bayside Fire Station by Owen Architecture Heritage: National Commendation Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Many children must fantasize about living in a fire station but few if any will ever have the opportunity. For this family, the former Wynnum Fire Station has been their home for a number of years and for the most part they have lived with the impracticalities of an outdoor stair providing access to bedrooms on the upper level, which were located in the former recreational spaces. Returning to the ground floor via the existing fireman’s pole wore thin, apparently, and the architect was engaged to solve the problem of internalizing the house without compromising the integrity of the original building. A simple lean-to roof was attached to the rear elevation, giving the back of the fire station a new front to the garden and a space for open-plan living. The skillion roof and the detailing of the extension subtly acknowledge the original building fabric. Careful consideration of the internal spaces preserved the original external stair within the internal space. Windows and ornamental details remain legible through considerable restraint. The outcome of this project significantly exceeds the limited means through which it was delivered.


Owen Architecture
Project Team
Paul Owen (principal architect) Michael Lineburg (design architect)
Builder The Proper Building Company
Hydraulic engineer H Design
Kitchen and bathroom design Daniella Rowles Design
Landscape architect Dan Young Landscape Architect
Structural engineer Westera Partners
Town planning Town Planning Alliance
Site details
Location Brisbane,  Qld,  Australia
Site type Suburban
Category Residential buildings
Type Heritage, Houses, Residential
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2015



Published online: 3 Nov 2016
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2016
Images: Toby Scott


Architecture Australia, November 2016

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