Life In Torbreck: Brisbane’s Landmark Modernist Residence Constructing

Information of a Torbreck residence on the market strikes quick amongst Brisbane’s structure fanatics. 

Prominently situated on the crest of Highgate Hill, this multi-residential landmark contains two modernist-influenced bolstered concrete and brick buildings (the tower and backyard blocks) topped by a glass statement room.

Designed by architects Aubrey Job and Robert Froud in 1957 and constructed from 1958 to 1960, Torbreck is a major early instance of high-rise dwelling in Queensland. A definite characteristic of the event are the blue pre-colour coated steel louvres mounted vertically to guard central balconies within the tower block. These adjustable vertical solar ‘fins’ create dynamic random patterns of color and texture as residents reposition the blades for his or her particular person necessities. 

Associates knew David Clarke and Nic Freeman have been hoping to purchase a small residence near town, in order that they have been rapidly alerted to a Torbreck residence on the market in 2016. ‘We acquired two separate messages concerning the sale from shut buddies (an architect and a designer) on the identical day, realizing it appeared good for us and was in our neighbourhood,’ says David. 

The residence in query had not too long ago undergone a complete makeover designed by the seller, architect Aaron Peters of Vokes and Peters. ‘We liked every little thing concerning the renovation they did, particularly the nods to modernism and all of the timber and particulars within the bespoke cabinetry,’ says Nic. 

So taken with Aaron Peters’ imaginative and prescient, David and Nic have made a acutely aware effort to not alter the residence since taking possession. David says, ‘We spent ages sweating the choice to place a ceiling fan within the bed room, attempting to maintain the clear traces but in addition survive the balmy Brisbane summers!’

Most of the different Torbreck residences stay within the authentic homeowners’ fingers, or in some cases have been scooped up by current residents in search of a barely bigger place! 

Natalie and James Lewandowski-Cox first noticed the constructing on a piece journey earlier than shifting to Brisbane, and it had caught of their minds ever since. ‘We saved pondering, “What’s that constructing with the air site visitors management tower on high of it?!” James says. They finally bought their first residence in 2015, earlier than not too long ago relocating to a bigger residence after a serious renovation. 

Working with architect Bruce Wolfe of Studio Wolfe and a group of stellar trades together with NuTide Constructions, Natalie and James turned the house from a concrete shell right into a bespoke mission in simply three months. The result’s a extra light-filled, spacious, and heat residence, but so in step with the constructing’s bones that one may simply assume the timber kitchen bench is an authentic characteristic.  

Mat Williams additionally bought a smaller Torbreck residence again in 2009 earlier than upgrading to a bigger place with spouse Steph Cooper. Their residence had been closely renovated within the ‘90s, in order that they engaged Kin Architects to reinstate its modernist sensibilities together with a ‘Jetsons-inspired kitchen.’

The communal areas of Torbreck seemingly stay as they have been in 1960, full with timber panelling and framed sketches of the unique constructing ideas and plans that dangle within the lobby.

‘Each ground within the constructing has a special color for the hallway lino, however all of us have some frequent options, like letterboxes and rubbish shoots on every ground, and corridor entry milk cabinets that have been initially supposed for meals deliveries to every residence,’ says David Clarke.

It’s these communal areas which have fostered the robust sense of neighborhood at Torbreck. David, Nic, Natalie, James, Mat and Steph (self-described because the ‘Torbreck lovers’) have all turn out to be buddies because of dwelling within the constructing, typically coming collectively to observe the sundown, get pleasure from a glass of wine, or dance. There’s additionally a Torbreck gardening group and guide membership, along with neighbourly cake swaps, barbecues, and pool hangs.

‘Some individuals would possibly see challenges in not having a storage, [having to] share a lobby and never having your personal yard, however we’ve discovered to like these elements of residence dwelling,’ says David. ‘That’s how we’ve come to know so many neighbours.’

These owner-occupiers all really feel proud to personal a slice of Brisbane architectural historical past that gives views throughout the Brisbane River all the way in which to the Glass Home Mountains and Moreton Island on a transparent day.  


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