Move­able home is a top idea

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Jessica Howard Any­one in­ter­ested in putting their own amaz­ing home up for con­sid­er­a­tion for house of the week can email jessica.

WATCH­ING the cul­mi­na­tion of her dream of the past decade hov­er­ing on a crane many me­tres off the ground in the mid­dle of the Ho­bart CBD, prop­erty de­vel­oper Brett Torossi be­gan to won­der if she had made the right de­ci­sion.

More than just a liv­ing space, the Om­nipod is about a new ap­proach to de­sign, con­struc­tion and the way peo­ple live.

The brain­child of Ms Torossi and brought to life by ar­chi­tect Craig Ro­se­vears ( a part­ner­ship which has pre­vi­ously re­sulted in the Rocky Hills Re­treat), the pod at the top of 152 Mac­quarie St is a pilot ver­sion of the con­cept which pro­vides a level of flex­i­bil­ity that could po­ten­tially fulfi l a per­son’s hous­ing needs for their en­tire life, no mat­ter how many times they move around the state, coun­try or globe.

With a fond­ness for mod­u­lar build­ing and “anti- McMan­sion think­ing”, the idea for a move­able home is one Ms Torossi has had for at least 10 years. It slowly started to be re­alised af­ter she pur­chased 152 Mac­quarie St six years ago, with the in­ten­tion of adding the pod on top.

“I thought the rooftops were dead, un­der utilised, ex­tra­or­di­nary spa­ces where we were only putting mi­crowave link tow­ers,” she said.

“I was in St David’s Park and I looked up at the build­ing and thought it was at­trac­tive and had good bones.

“For a long time we worked on putting ad­di­tional floors onto that build­ing, but the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate in Tas­ma­nia is not con­ducive to do­ing that work and it may be some time be­fore that work can hap­pen.

“So in the mean­time, I thought why not utilise the roof space.”

Con­structed in Launceston and fit­ted out in a shed at Elec­trona, the pod was lifted as one piece, with much of the kitchen and bath­room al­ready in place, via a crane to the top of the nine- storey build­ing in Jan­uary.

Much of Mac­quarie St was closed off as the work went on overnight, with ev­ery­thing in place by around 4am.

“I found the lift ex­hil­a­rat­ing and ter­ri­fy­ing be­cause usu­ally when we build stuff it’s in­cre­men­tal,” Ms Torossi said. “I re­mem­ber think­ing as it was swing­ing around in the air, ‘ What on earth are we do­ing – it was per­fectly good in the shed!’ It was sur­real.”

The glass- fronted apart­ment has views over St David’s Park, the Ho­bart wa­ter­front and across to the Eastern Shore, with a ve­randa run­ning the length of the pod.

At 17m long, the two- bed­room unit hangs over both sides of the offi ce block.

It is cur­rently used as ac­com­mo­da­tion un­der the name Avalon City Re­treat.

A beau­ti­ful Huon pine bath­tub is the high­light of the out­door en­ter­tain­ing area at the rear.

In a great jux­ta­po­si­tion of old and new, an an­tique door sits up­right against the wall next to the flat- screen TV.

Ms Torossi picked it up at her favourite mar­ket in Italy.

“There’s a fab­u­lous mar­ket in Arezzo, Um­bria, and it’s al­ways got some weird, crazy and in­ter­est­ing stuff,” she said.

“I spot­ted this door miles away and it was com­ing home with me be­fore I even got within 50 feet of it.”

In­ter­est in the de­sign and con­cept has come from as far a field as Syd­ney, so we could be see­ing more pods pop­ping up.

The Om­nipod pro­ject has been nom­i­nated in the new houses cat­e­gory of the 2013 Tas­ma­nian Ar­chi­tec­ture Awards.

“For Craig to be recog­nised by his peers is a real hon­our,” Ms Torossi said.

“We’re re­ally blessed with a fan­tas­tic ar­chi­tec­tural com­mu­nity in Tas­ma­nia who have honed their skills and art from a tra­di­tion of not hav­ing a lot of money for projects. So they’ve had to re­ally step up and do a great deal with a lot less than other peo­ple do in Syd­ney and over­seas, and that’s why they’re so good.”

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