The owners of this home did not have to look far for a site for their new home… just 100 metres from where they lived in Toowoomba Ranges. The new site was a steep block, with a stormwater easement running across the breadth of the property.
Having done several projects with the same architect and builder previously, they knew they had the right team to handle it.
As a ‘trying to retire’ couple, they wanted a ‘rest of their lives’ type home built on one level, easy to live in and easy to maintain, where they could showcase their artwork and sculpture collection throughout the property. The architect, the late John Simpson, designed a north facing pavilion style building with high ceilings, set into the sloping land. The bedrooms are at one end and living space at the other, anchored by a stone clad, double height entry tower.
The façade of the home is clad in Cemintel Barestone, recommended by the architect and admired by the owners for its aesthetic appeal and low maintenance. They liked the contemporary industrial, textured look of Barestone, which contrasts beautifully with the earthiness and irregularity of the Wamberal stonework in the entry tower, as well as in the pathway and swales of the landscaped gardens.
“We found that really interesting”, says the owners. Barestone was always their first choice for the façade, and they played around with many different materials for the tower to find the perfect combination and, ultimately, match.
For the builder, Jeff Bubeck of Downs Designer Homes, all the spacing of the Barestone sheets was carefully planned to achieve clean lines. “With a steep block at street level… the house is visible on three sides, plus the roof, so whatever you build has to have clean lines.”
Further to that, the team chose the fixed riveting method, rather than screws, to attach the cladding. The rivets are flush and colour coded to blend in, so your eye is drawn to the façade rather than the rivet. From a construction perspective, using Barestone means having only one trade for installation, which eliminates scheduling bricklayers, renderers and painters.
Jeff was also concerned with Toowoomba’s famous red soil staining the Barestone, so they did tests prior to construction to allay their concerns. Happily, it washed off easily. “The Barestone proved very easy to clean because it is pre-sealed and finished”.
The owners and the builder have also been pleasantly surprised by how the texture and subtle colour variations of the Barestone have become more pronounced over time. “The more they age and weather, the better they look. The movement, the pattern tends to darken a little bit. The full potential isn’t seen when they are first put onto the frame.”
The owners are extremely pleased with the outcome. They stressed that it was a really happy project – for the architect, the builder Jeff and his team and all of the trades on site. They always felt they all wanted this home to be the best it could be.
“I think we achieved that. And I really have the feeling that this will be our last house”.
Architect: John Simpson
Builder: Downs Designer Homes
Landscape Architect: Sharon Bell, Design Instincts Landscape Architects
Photographer: Statik Illusions
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