Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 23 Summer 2009 Contents 138 INSITE SUMMER
"I was living in Perth so we decided to fix
it up as a holiday house in the late 1970s, but
when I say we 'fixed it up' I mean we turned
the power on," says Helen.
Helen returned to Busselton in 1996 and
has since been living on the farm.
"I'm the first person to live out there.
We never lived on the farm when I was
little because my father had a business in
Busselton," she says.
e original windows didn't allow Helen
to enjoy views of her 121 hectares of land, so
large new windows and doors were a priority
in the renovation.
"It was built to be shatter proof and take
a close hit so although there was plenty of
light, the original windows were too high,"
With a thick concrete roof and 36cm-
thick concrete walls, the house wasn't an
average renovation project for principal Dane
Richardson, of Dane Design Australia.
"Immediately I knew it was going to be
a challenge, but I wasn't worried because
we've had plenty of experience with
concrete," says Dane. "We knew aspects like
the walls were going to be diffic u lt."
Once the builders began to cut into the
concrete walls it quickly became apparent
how big the job was going to be.
" ose old air force engineers certainly
had the concrete levels up. ere was a fair
amount of cost as well as frustration in
cutting the new openings," says Dane.
e renovation had to allow the history
and the old design of the building to show
through. When standing in front of the
house the initial box appearance of the old
administration building is clearly defined.
"A previous renovation had left a pitched
roof on the building, so we removed it and
returned to the original flat concrete roof,"
e building needed a large amount of
repair work to bring it up to the standard
of a luxury home. Being empty for so long
the house was prone to vandalism, and a
fire during the early 1980s damaged one of
" ey had had fires in there and all sorts
of things so when we started stripping it we
had problems with concrete being damaged
and decayed," says Dane.
Helen's father replaced the destroyed
timber flooring with concrete, which was
the cheapest option at the time, but when
some of the internal walls were ripped down
e floorboards run in different
directions, creating paths that expose
where the original rooms once were.
COSY FEEL: The jarrah floors complement the concrete
and steel surrounds and create a warm atmosphere.
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