Home stands the test of time
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.”