Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 24 Autumn 2010 Contents 152 INSITE AUTUMN
Adam and his team had their work cut out
from the beginning. "It was just a great big
rocky knoll, and we had to tunnel in and
build it up," says Adam. He called in "the
biggest excavator you have ever seen" and
crawled it up a steep driveway. " at was the
biggest nightmare," says Adam. "When it
did get up here, I couldn't stop thinking 'it's
going to crack the driveway'. is thing was
about 20-odd tonne -- my heart was racing
from then until the house was finished."
Removing 1000 cubic metres of ground,
including tough limestone, the four-storey
house is dug into the rise, only reaching above
the original block level at the third floor.
"Site access was a major, major problem
-- there was none," says Adam. "When
the limestone blocks were delivered for
the house, we had to physically lift each
30-kilogram block up to the building -- it
While the build was undeniably tough,
Adam still managed to finish construction
within 12 months -- refusing to let the house
"beat him", working six days a week with
early mornings, and having a fantastic
time of it all the same.
"It was pretty funny because my dad,
who's not the youngest guy in town, was the
one who was there every day, working hard.
A lot of people came and went, but it was a
pretty small bunch of us who actually built
it -- and some guys were in their 50s and
70s, all such hard workers. It was such fun
to build. I was pretty disappointed when it
was over, to be honest. All the challenge was
gone. It was like, what do I do now?"
A modern take on a terrace house, the
five-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom structure
towers impressively over a private lane
below. e neutral, soft tones of the facade
sit perfectly beside its creamy neighbours,
and limestone cladding above a two-car
garage is a reminder of the excavation. e
only exterior hint to the home's unusual
interior design features are double-arc
windows, which are framed in brick that
was recycled from an old hospital.
"I built the home around brick barrel-
vault ceilings," says Adam. "My parents
are from Liverpool, and I went to e
Cavern, where the Beatles used to play,
and there are barrel-vaulted ceilings.
A band was playing, but I was just
gob-smacked as to how the ceilings
stayed up. I think I just had to build it."
e barrel vaults feature throughout
the house and are clad in recycled brick
to help keep the house at a comfortable
temperature. ey also afford a look of
antiquity, which complements the raw
ese ceilings have even attracted
international attention: an Italian with a
doctorate in ancient engineering found the
house online and emailed wanting to meet
Adam in July this year.
BARREL OF FUN: The unusual barrel-vaulted ceilings are
recycled brick laid into steel frames -- a feat of engineering that
has attracted international attention. (below) The kitchen decor
is minimal thanks to appliances hidden in a scullery behind.
Links Archive Insite 23 Summer 2009 Insite 25 Winter 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page