Our cities are pretty built up in Australia and building a completely new house is pretty rare in inner-city areas unless you knock down an existing one on the land first. A couple from Brisbane were faced with a dilemma then, when they wanted to build their own place in a heritage precinct of the city where not much could actually be demolished. Instead of letting a little thing like that get in their way, they bought up some legit ‘left over space’ in the suburb of Paddington and got to work on their new home.
The left over space was a bit of land between a 100 year old dance hall and a little three metre wide caretakers cottage just adjacent to it. By no means would this have been enough to build a traditional house, but luckily the new land owners, Rebekah and Casey Vallance, were architects who got a bit creative.
Rather than building wide, they built long, making use of all the available space. The house is pretty unassuming from the street, where the original cottage still stands, but as you delve further you realise how complex it actually is. Rebekah and Casey utilised stairs, walkways and large windows to maximise the space they had with little alcoves throughout for privacy within the house. In terms of privacy from their neighbours, who were now very close, the couple built perforated panels between their wall and the neighbour’s, to act as a sort of curtain between them.
It took the couple 10 years to build their Left Over Space House, and it’s a pretty cool lesson in not being wasteful of anything – including small bits of disused land.