The homes in 4101 are as diverse and colourful as the community within it; from apartment living, to heritage cottages, and classic Queenslander homes like ‘The Blue House’.

THE BLUE HOUSE is identifiable by its eye-catching sky blue coloured fence and walls. The wooden Queenslander-style home occupying a large block in central West End. Built in the late 1960s, the building originally served as a primary school for children with learning disabilities. In the new millennium the property was sold, painted blue, and divided into 40 compact bedrooms, seeing the close-knit residential community of The Blue House established. Single and double rooms are available within the house, with students, local creatives, professionals and international visitors all calling the cosy Queenslander home.

Sitting on the back deck, psychology student Natasha-Rose Stapleton describes the atmosphere as “beautiful”. “You can be whoever you want, and everyone is accepted. I’m from a small town called Beaudesert, not so far from Brisbane. I didn’t like being so far from the excitement of the city, so I moved to West End. The first time I saw The Blue House, I knew that this was the place I wanted to be in,” Natasha said.

The most remarkable element is that despite sharing the house with 40 diverse people, there is an unwavering feeling of family. “My favourite thing about The Blue House is that I can come out of my room at any time, morning or night, and there is always someone there to talk to about your day, and just chat with. We’re a family.”

A newer addition to the local landscape in West End is a multi-purpose experimental house for creatives, known as ‘The Swarm’. Founder of food start-up ‘Noshly’ and ‘Hunted Hive’ digital agency, Nathan Keilar established The Swarm to help support local small business start-ups to get out of cramped cafes and into a community-minded shared workspace. After noticing an increased need for joint workspaces within the expanding field of start-ups, Nathan visited similar studios in Montreal, then went on to set up his first co-working space in Chiang Mai before he set his sights on creating The Swarm in West End. The Swarm allows innovative thinkers to converse, create and brainstorm over ideas with one another, giving individual entrepreneurs support within an office environment, while maintaining their freedom to work solo.

The house was renovated by architect Bud Brannigan, who turned the 1900s workers cottage into an open plan main space with floor-to-ceiling doors to allow natural light to fill the room. The design palate of the property is predominantly in natural shades of concrete and wood, with vibrant splashes of colour throughout. To support local businesses within the West End community, The Swarm stocks 4101 favourite ‘Blackstar Coffee’ in-house.

The space now hosts a variety of resident developers, designers and writers, and the elegant open plan makes this modern 4101 hub a popular venue for exhibitions and events.

Words by Rachel Westbury