Upside Down House


Starting with the existing, dark semi-detached house on a small block, a flipped floorplan allows for a bright and open raised, kitchen, lounge and outdoor terrace. The more enclosed ground floor houses bedrooms, bathrooms and service spaces.

We worked with Bancroft and Malone Architects to create a new centrally located front door leading into a dramatic double height foyer. The exposed original brick wall in the entry highlights the point where the original house and the new structure meet.

The roofline is designed to include three distinct folded layers, peeling back to provide openings for skylights and windows creating a beautiful bright living space and illuminated the central stair well.   The large skylight over the stairs transforms the usually dark middle of the house into an open space, flooded with light from above.

Maike Design fireplace joinery and skylight
Maike Design stair foyer and existing heritage hallway
Maike Design white kitchen, marble and timber bench
Maike Design white kitchen, inset sink and skylight

The upper level kitchen opens onto an entertaining deck and a second skylight provides a light and bright living space.

The central island maximised the functionality of the kitchen and provide a robust base for the integrated dining table. This combination of textures in the central marble and timber contrast and soften the minimal cabinetry on either side.

Maike Design lounge chair and skylight
Maike Design white kitchen and skylight
Maike Design skylight
Maike Design exterior facade with louvre shading
Architecture: Bancroft and Malone
Styling: Maike Design Studio
Photos: Tatjana Plitt