Home stands the test of time

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Jes­sica Howard Email jes­sica. howard@ news. com. au

NOW one of Ho­bart’s most pres­ti­gious and sought- af­ter sub­urbs, Kas­par Spiegel can re­mem­ber a time, not all that long ago, when Sandy Bay was still cov­ered by bush and wild horses roamed the hills.

From 1968- 1969, Kas­par and his wife Lois em­ployed renowned ar­chi­tect Es­mond Dor­ney to de­signed their four- bed­room fam­ily home in Red Chapel Ave.

“We used to live in the place on the other side of the fence, hav­ing bought the prop­erty in 1957,” Kas­par said.

“We had four kids and de­cided the fam­ily was get­ting a bit too big for the one bed­room so we sub­di­vided the block, sold the old house and got Es­mond to de­sign this one.”

Mov­ing to Aus­tralia from Ber­lin in 1952, Kas­par worked all over the state for the Hy­dro as a labourer be­fore set­tling in Sandy Bay.

“I wanted some­thing low main­te­nance,” he said of his in­struc­tions to Dor­ney. “I’d got­ten sick of paint­ing the old place. “I was al­ways on the main­land for busi­ness work­ing for Silk and Tex­tiles at that time, so I didn’t spend much time here.

“The fam­ily stayed here of course, my wife was a teacher and the kids went to school here.

“It [ the area] was com­pletely un­de­vel­oped. The street fi nished at our drive­way – there was noth­ing be­hind us, it was all bush. When we were still liv­ing in the old house, one morn­ing we were wo­ken up by wild horses in the gar­den.”

When we were still liv­ing in the old house, one morn­ing we were wo­ken up by wild horses in the gar­den

Con­structed mainly from in­su­lated metal sheet­ing, the for­ward- think­ing de­sign has cre­ated a home which re­mains highly ef­fi­cient 43 years af­ter its com­ple­tion.

Dou­ble glazed win­dows added 10 years ago only add to this.

The steel in­side the walls means Kas­par can stick things to al­most any sur­face in the house with mag­nents.

Kas­par says the idea may have come from Dor­ney’s other project at the time, Ken­nerly Boy’s Home, in West Ho­bart, which was built us­ing the same con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als.

Just three years af­ter the house was fin­ished, the Spiegel’s added a front deck from where they could en­joy the in­cred­i­ble view which stretches from the Tas­man Bridge right down to the Tas­man Penin­sula.

Kas­par had the deck re­done ear­lier this year and in a sign of how things have changed, the new deck cost al­most twice as much the en­tire home did orig­i­nally.

Through­out the bed­rooms and the liv­ing area are pieces of 1970s- style fur­ni­ture, in­clud­ing a few se­lect items hand­made by Kas­par him­self.

A tim­ber side­board near the en­try is one of his uniquely crafted pieces.

“I built that one out of gelig­nite [ TNT] boxes,” he ex­plained.

“When I was work­ing for the Hy­dro and they were build­ing the trans­mis­sion lines, we used a lot of them to blast out the foun­da­tions, so there were all th­ese boxes ly­ing around.

“I also built my tim­ber bed in one of the ac­com­mo­da­tion huts on the hill top at Wad­damana when I was work­ing there. I col­lected the ma­te­ri­als dur­ing the day and built it at night.”

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