About - hero image

The Aardvarc Approach

At Aardvarc, we’re driven by a love of nature and an appreciation for practical and personal design. Whether applied to residential, multi-residential, commercial or retail projects, we approach design using novel ideas, and both new and used materials, in order to produce environmentally conscious and meaningful architecture.  We respect our Clients most valuable resources, time and money, and seek to preserve these finite commodities.  Instead of design for design’s sake, Aardvarc believes that the best design is shaped through collaboration between everyone involved, all working towards a common goal.


We provide a range of services from planning to completion of a project. These include design and documentation, development applications, construction, on site consultation services, in-house consultation services and in-house seminars.


  • Mick Hellen

    Mick Hellen

    Mick Hellen is an Architect and Registered Builder in Brisbane, Queensland. After completing trade apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery, Mick worked in commercial, industrial and residential construction throughout South-East Qld, NSW and the USA. Click here for more info

  • Libby Jeong

    Libby Jeong

    Libby is a graduate architect and became part of the Aardvarc team after completing her Masters of Architecture at the University of Queensland. Libby is passionate about designing site specific architecture that works to enhance the natural elements and characteristics of each site to its best advantage. Libby has worked on a number of residential and commercial projects and has a strong interest in new innovations in sustainable residential design.

  • Pia Lucas

    Pia Lucas

    Currently undertaking a Masters in Architecture at QUT, Pia has an Honours Bachelor Degree with majors in both Architecture and Construction Management. Part of her undergraduate degree was completed in Italy at the School of Architecture, Politecnico di Torino, where Pia combined her interests in historical architecture, contemporary design, photography and travel.


  • Archilovers
  • Green Magazine
  • Sanctuary Magazine
  • World Architects
  • Sea Breeze
  • BOM
  • Surfing Life
  • Fish About


Projects - hero image
  • Renovations

  • New Homes

  • furniture & details

  • Pools and Landscaping

  • Drawing Board

  • Commercial & Multi-Residential

Why Choose Us?

Why choose us? - hero image



“The house is great. We spent a fortnight there over Xmas/New Year with our kids and various friends coming and going. So we settled into it then and have spent most weekends since getting things ready for rentals (at a suitably sedate pace of course).

“One of our friend’s teenage daughters made a comment after a few days there (without any seeding from us) that it was just like camping, so you certainly got the feel right!

David |  Lot 86


“Thank you very much to you and your staff for making sure everything went smoothly for us during the build and making sure everything is perfect. We love the new kitchen and we are using the deck every day, which is great.

Kathy | East Brisbane


“As Mayor of the City I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your entry and subsequent Gold Award in the Design section of the 2013 Ipswich City Council Awards for Excellence held on Wednesday 16 October. “56a Thorn Street” was certainly an exciting project and worthy of this award.

Mayor Paul Pisasale, City of Ipswich | Switch


“This was such a new idea to me; I didn’t know anyone at the time that had ever used an architect, so I was truly traveling blind. I did my research, and chose Mick Hellen at Aardvarc because (A)  he was well known in the AIA (B) a winner (C) a bit hippy but likes fishing  (D) evidently good at making nice QLD  style homes (E) also builds.  I was pleased with the experience, Mick and his team through the whole experience have been helpful, prompt, patient and accommodating.  I also wanted someone who could give my little bro (the builder) some guidance or advice if required. He could also help both me, and my brother, learn about the whole process – design, development approval, building approval, energy efficiency assessment, construction contract review and selection, etc.  I was reserved somewhat in my approach to the whole building process as I had heard SOOO many horror stories, or been advised by so many people of how difficult and frustrating the process is. So far – all good!”

Esther | Switch


2015  Australian Institute of Architects

Commercial Architecture- Brisbane Regional Commendation

2015  Australian Institute of Architects

House Small Projects – Brisbane Regional Commendation (renovation/extension)

2014  Australian Institute of Architects

Darling Downs/West Moreton Regional Architecture Awards – House of the Year

2014 Australian Institute of Architects

Darling Downs/West Moreton Regional Architecture Awards – Regional Commendation

2014 BPN Sustainability Awards

Finalist Landscape Design – Living Room

2014 Master Concreters Association of QLD

Excellence in Industry Award – Best Domestic Project Award

2014 Ipswich City Council Design Heritage Environment

Gold award for excellence

2014 House and Garden Awards

Best top 50 rooms

2013 Queensland Architecture Awards

Sustainable Architecture – Brisbane Regional Commendation

2013 Queensland Architecture Awards

Small Project Architecture – Brisbane Regional Commendation

2012 HIA (Housing Industry Association)

Renovation/Addition Project Up to $300k Finalist

2009 Queensland Architecture Awards

House Small Projects – Queensland Awards Regional Commendation (renovation/extension)

2009 Queensland Architecture Awards

House Small Projects – Brisbane Regional Commendation (renovation/extension)

2007 Queensland Architecture Awards

House – Central Queensland Regional Commendation

2007 Queensland Architecture Awards

House – Central Queensland Building of the Year

2001 HIA Queensland Housing Awards (with Arcstyle)

Most Innovative Use of Steel in Housing (renovation/extension)

2001 HIA South East Queensland Awards (with Arcstyle)

Winner Renovations and Additions up to 160k

2000 Queensland Government Smart Housing Awards (with Arcstyle)

Certificate of Recognition for Residential


RAIA 2007 2007 RAIA Central Queensland Regional Building of the Year and Sustainability Award winner.

“It has a beautifully judged elegance achieved without any ostentation. The subtle greens of the lightweight cladding tone with the translucent panels recede into the shadows of the gnarled Bloodwoods, Xanthorrhoea and Livingstonias, leaving only the tracery of the fine timber battened construction on show. The stepping longitudinal section of this project is masterful in directing view, inducing ventilation and choreographing lifestyle. Handrails, roof pitches, floor levels and framing details have a rightness that can only come from a love of nature, a mastery of construction methods and an absolute commitment to architectural quality.”
RAIA Judge 2007 Peter Skinner Head of Architecture, University of Qld


Victoria’s 2010 Design Festival – State of Design – Scale vs. Status competition

The competition required a design with 1:50 model and plans to demonstrate how a respectable size home for a given situation can have thermal and energy efficiency and sustainable material selection.


  •  •  Sanctuary Mag (June, 2014) “Ipswich Infill”-

S27_Ipswich Infill

  • •  House & Garden (November, 2014) “Top 50 Rooms 2014″-


  • •  Q-weekend (November, 2014) “The player: John Collins and the Triffid  has his finger on the pulse”-



  • •  Brisbane News (August, 2014) “Backyard Bliss”-


  • •  GREEN – sustainable architecture and landscape design (September-October, 2013) issue 33-


  • •  GREEN – sustainable architecture and landscape design (November-December, 2013) issue 34-


  • •  Architectural Digest China (May, 2012)-


  • •  B-mag (August, 2012) “Inside Out”-




  • •  House & Garden (Nov, 2009) “Natural instinct”-


  • •  Daily Telegraph (August, 2009)”Jen dives into new job”-


  • •  House & Garden (Nov, 2007) “Top 50 Rooms”-


  • •  Bligh Tanner News (Autumn, 2007)-

BT news_autumn 2007

Sort By     Rennovations

  • Renovations
  • New Homes
  • furniture & details
  • Pools and Landscaping
  • Drawing Board
  • Commercial & Multi-Residential

Vulture Street

A tiny home needed a seamless connection to the private back yard. Natural light highlights the structure without compromising privacy.

Trellis House

Trellis House is an economical refurbishment and addition to a Post-War Cottage where the design is driven by a desire to appreciate and experience the surrounding environment. The trellis, attached to a cost-effective trim-deck shell, forms the conceptual framework for the extension. The vines allow favourable seasonal change by shading the shell during summer and allowing light and heat penetration during winter. The overall result is a tight, cost effective extension where sustainable design elements have been used to greatly enhance the sense of space.

Green House

"Green House” was recently awarded a Queensland State commendation, as well as a local Brisbane commendation, at the 2009 Queensland Architecture Awards. Positioned on a small block, similar to most houses within in this suburb, the limited space did not limit the architectural vision. As the timber and glass bi-fold doors peel away, the backyard sanctuary, with its plunge pool and exterior fireplace, becomes part of the home. The project was designed and built by Aardvarc.


Traditional Queenslanders and workers cottages are quintessential to the Paddington streetscape. The renovation to this workers cottage stays true to its original style, whilst also allowing for maximum ventilation, natural light, airflow and contemporary notions of indoor/outdoor living and entertaining.

East Brisbane

This old Queenslander, close to the hustle and bustle of the Brisbane city, was in need of a renovation which would transform the boxy kitchen area into an open indoor/outdoor living space, suited for relaxed gatherings with family and friends.


This renovation has transformed a classic post-war house into an adaptable, functional and contemporary home. A combination of rendered concrete and glass louvers to the rear extension allows maximum airflow and abundant light throughout the space. The design ensures fluidity between internal and external spaces, allowing the occupants to embrace the subtropical climate within which their home is located.


Living Room

162 New Farm

86 Sea Breeze

Lot 36


Details - Interior

Architectural details and components such as lighting fixtures, high ornate ceilings and impressive architectural roof lines are an important inclusions throughout Aardvarc designs, in order to create the character, charm and architectural style of the home that is suited to the microclimate of the site.  


Details - Exterior

Features & Details


Trellis Detail


As more and more of the precious hours at home are being spent on the verandah or by the pool, homeowners are looking for new ways to link indoor living to outside entertaining. As you can see from the examples here, Aardvarc designs blend the internal architecture with Landscaping to make gardens, pools and barbeques a feature of the home itself.



Living Room

Sea Breeze, 1770

West End

Concept Tarragindi

An existing home gets a simple facelift enabling a fluid connection between indoor and out, and reflective of the sub-tropical context.

Concept Kelvin Grove

A character homes gets a sensitive renovation and extension that is better suited to the urban lifestyle of its occupants, whilst simultaneously maximizing the potential of the inner city site.

Concept Red Hill

A tranquil and private sleeping pavilion is proposed amongst the existing tropical garden to the rear of a Queensland workers cottage.

Parkway Drive Highfield

A detached studio floats amongst the native bushland, providing a hideaway for study, reading, guest accommodation and birdwatching.

Concept Community

Concept West End

This proposal is to revitalize a basic brick home on a flood prone site.  The proposal uses traditional materials, of timber and tin, in a way that is aesthetically, functionally and climatically appropriate as a means of complimenting the existing character streetscape whilst also promoting Brisbane’s unique subtropical architecture in a more contemporary context.


Bald Knob

Papua Nugini

River Terrace


King Street


Wilston Home

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