Description: WWW.RURALSALES.COM.AU ID 2724
At 15 I was lucky enough to win a trip to New Zealand with Rotary. The first host I stayed with was up north, near Tuta Kaka. It was a rural property and overlooked the ocean. No other houses in their view, a constantly moving background and a beautiful natural setting. I came from a country town. I couldn't believe anyone could be lucky enough to be surrounded by such beauty. From that moment I dreamed of somehow, one day living by the ocean. It also ignited my passion for travel.
I studied architecture at Sydney University for a couple of years but economic realities saw me get into the advertising industry. I never lost my passion for design.
At 23 I took off overseas, where my travels covered all seven continents and eventually I became a partner in the world's leading adventure company. We sold the company in 2002 and, at 42, I pursued my nagging dream of living by the ocean.
Crescent Head had always been my favourite place on the east coast, both from family trips and teenage safaris. When the perfect-sized site with all the attributes I wanted (close to town, on tar, town water, garbage collection, no visible houses, elevated, bush setting, protected and sweeping ocean views) I started pursuing my dream.
My travels had exposed me to an incredible range of inspiration; villas in Bali, safari camps in Zimbabwe, tree-houses in Thailand, tribal huts in Pakistan, beach huts in Vietnam, wine cellars in France and long houses in Sarawak. All of them influenced my thinking. I reacted against the modern architectural approaches of bland surfaces, clean lines and narrow eaves. I wanted a hand-made building; more sculptural, more human. 'Queenslanders' are closer to what I think is the quintessential rural architecture in Australia.
Locals laughed when, for two years, I would put scaled models of the designs out in the sun to check exactly what the shadows would do, and then draw full-scale plans on the beach, with furniture, to create walk-through spaces. I wanted to create an intelligent, timeless building. The natural slope faces south-east and the ocean view is east but I wanted all the lifestyle advantages of a northern aspect, particularly the main deck, swimming pool, kitchen and dining room.
The two main timbers used, spotted gum and ironbark, are two of the most durable timbers in the world and fire-resistant, particularly with the oversize dimensions of the floorboards and pillars. The effect of more than forty 200mm x200mm hardwood pillars is powerful and timeless. The craftmanship in the hand-made windows and doors is extraordinary.
I love strong themes; zinc roof, sturdy hardwood structure, wooden veranda railings and dowels, castle-thick hand-rendered walls, wide floor boards, oversize skirting boards, picture rails, ceiling fans, original ceiling roses, big pavers, granite surfaces, stainless steel fittings, uninterrupted view windows, timber louvres, neutral tiles, LED lighting, self-cleaning gutters and extended eaves. These themes resonate throughout the building.
Sure, a hand-made zinc roof costs about the same as most new houses, but it is beautiful and will probably still be there in a thousand years. A good tradesman once told me, "Quality and beauty last well beyond the memory of the price tag."
I'd lived in the middle of cities for years. Most of the time I didn't see any moon cycles, never felt the tides, probably didn't know where the wind was coming from and often didn't know my neighbours. I lived in an exclusive human world. Now I have the balance. A village nestled in an extraordinary, protected natural setting. 2 minutes to school. No traffic lights and no peak hours. Deep friendships and shared journeys. I am in tune with the sun and the moon, the tides and the seasons, yet I can still work for an international company.
Right from the front entrance the property is dramatic. The 250 metre stone-walled driveway is designed to create a sense of arrival as it rises towards the pool's infinity-edge waterfall and the imposing structure. The landscape has been sculptured into accessible, flat terraces with rock retaining walls (all sourced from within the property). The contrast of the manicured lawn and garden beds with the wild natural rock and bush is stunning. The driveway continues past the large parking area around to the back door, so that groceries, luggage etc... don't have to be lugged up any stairs.
A grand garden staircase leads to the front entrance door, which is integrated into a double helix timber staircase to create visual drama. Even now, every time I walk past it, it catches my eye with its rhythm and lines.
The main deck easily takes a generous table with a dozen seats and really enjoys the best of the pool setting, bush landscape and ocean background. The barbeque is on this deck and by opening the huge kitchen view widow you can create an outside kitchen with access to benches and sinks.
The kitchen itself is spacious with the Miele appliances; two fan-forced ovens, deep-fryer, induction stove, gas rings, wok burner, microwave and dishwasher. Exhaust is vented to outside. There is an appliance bench for the toaster jug, blender etc... that neatly hides behind double doors. A large breakfast table is integrated into the kitchen area. There is lots of storage in the kitchen but an additional pantry room offers even more.
The laundry is close to the kitchen, and the sun-facing line, mostly under eaves, is just outside the laundry door next to equally-accessible herb garden.
The formal dining room abuts the kitchen. It has an amazing view over the pool and gardens to the ocean.
The living room is generous and features a large traditional fireplace and uninterrupted ocean view windows. For convenience, the ashes can be neatly swept down a chute to the basement.
The double helix staircase is like the DNA of the house. The outside treads lead to an open deck upstairs while the inside leads to the entertainment area.
An art-deco cinema, library, dance floor, bar, café booth, pool table and dart board complete the entertainment area overlooking the pool and the ocean.
An upstairs study also overlooks the forest and water and allows you to see the driveway for visitors. It has a huge desk and built in filing cabinets, drawers and a large format map and plan cabinet.
A ½ metre deep curved masonry wall forms the spine of the building. Thick enough to be in a castle, it is a sound barrier between the living and the sleeping, as well as a huge thermal mass that stabilises the interior temperature, year-round.
The bedrooms are like hotel rooms opening on to their own verandas. Each has its own en-suite and built-in robes.
The place is wired for sound and vision.
The spacious master bedroom enjoys panoramic views, a three-sided private veranda, walk in robe and a beautiful bathroom, complete with a double shower and a luxury spa bath.
A huge130,000 litre rain-water tank secures beautiful pure water. (It is handy, though, to be on town water if you ever need it.)
Downstairs has a double, drive-through garage, workshop area, storage and a wine cellar.
Fully-integrated with the house, the large infinity-edge swimming pool is a luxurious 2.5 metres at its deepest and has a flat 1.2-metre-deep volleyball area. There is also a wading pool, spa, outside shower and shaded area for relaxing.
The pool house provides a separate guestroom, with glorious ocean views, and an extra bathroom.
Downstairs is a steam room with double-vaulted ceilings and a massage slab. An original stain-glass window creates beautiful light effects.
Still incomplete, a tennis court and pavilion are planned for part of the site. The championship-size-court slab has already been poured. Foundations and services are already in place for the pavilion. Mind you, a four-rink lawn bowling green is another option. (I play bowls).
I created this house with the optimistic ideal that it would be our family home for centuries. I wanted to get everything right. But circumstances change. You may find flaws in such a grand vision, but I also hope that you would see so many things that have been thought out (and weren't budgeted) but make sense, that you will agree that this is an extraordinary building and an incredible place to live.
While much of my vision has been achieved in an earthmoving and landscaping way, there is also lots of scope for your own ideas and dreams to come true.
Maybe, like it has for me, this home might realise some of your wildest dreams. You will feel very special. Not many get to experience this.
DISCLAIMER: This information has been obtained from our Vendor(s). We make no representations to its accuracy. All computer images, maps and photographs are indicative only. We are merely passing the information on. Interested parties should make their own enquiries