The Railton House

Visiting a Spring Hill treasure.

So…do you ever find yourself suffering from If I didn’t live here, where would I live-itis?

I caught quite a bad case a few weeks ago when visiting this place on a Brisbane Open House tour.

‘This place’ is the Railton House, a dark and timbery gem hidden away in Spring Hill.

Designed by architect John Railton in 1963, the house served as family home, studio for his wife, and office for his own architectural practice.

A narrow brick stair sidles up along one boundary, arriving at the front door.

Inside there’s a living room overlooking the street.

The kitchen and dining are at the back.

Both open out to a rambling yard, where the current tenants have installed chooks, a vegie garden, and a blissed-out dog.

Up an elegant internal stair there’s a main bedroom, again on the street side, and two small rooms overlooking the garden.

There was originally an open courtyard space in the centre of this level: it was enclosed with sliding glass doors early on, becoming extra working space.

Although the house is built of the simplest of materials – brick, timber, cork - the spaces created are anything but simple.

The dynamic, soaring roof makes the bedroom, in particular, belie its tiny footprint.

The details are lovely, even more so when softened by a half-century of use.

When John Railton and his family settled on Spring Hill as a place to live and work, the inner-city suburb was still perceived as highly undesirable. When the ballots opened for Open House tours earlier this year the demand was overwhelming.


Thanks to RAB for allowing me to supplement my photos with some of his.