Fac­ing up to the fu­ture

Building a main­te­nance-free house by the wa­ter was a chal­leng­ing task, writes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - STYLE -

The lo­ca­tion of the house up for sale was cer­tainly en­vi­able, but the dated red brick looked out of place among other mod­ern two-storey de­signs on the street. Over­look­ing the Ge­orges River in Blake­hurst in south­ern Sydney, the home was tech­ni­cally on a site of about 900sq m, but in re­al­ity the new owner had ac­cess to more than 1000sq m of space be­cause the pool sat on Crown land.

This meant that when As­pire Con­struc­tions direc­tor Jake Kearns took on the job of re­plac­ing the old red brick with a con­tem­po­rary home wor­thy of its ad­dress, the only thing that stayed put was the pool.

“We flat­tened the red brick house. The new owner bought with the in­ten­tion of knock­ing it down, and it was not some­thing you could re­ally fix, it was in such poor con­di­tion. The only good thing about it was the par­cel of land it sat on,” says Jake.

“There is quite a bit of Crown land around the prop­erty, it’s in a beau­ti­ful spot, and thank­fully the pool was in a rea­son­able con­di­tion, so the new own­ers were able to leave it there.

“If we had to build a brand new pool, we would have had to move it fur­ther back on to their ac­tual block.”

De­signed by architectural firm Collins W Collins, the new home is two storeys at the front and three storeys at the rear where the land slopes to­wards the river.

The mod­ern mas­ter­piece has four bed­rooms on its top level, while the ground level has a mud room, a kit­ted out cin­ema room, plus an open-plan liv­ing room with a state-of-the-art kitchen (pic­tured on cover). As im­pres­sive as the kitchen is, it hides an­other full-sized kitchen be­hind a large tim­ber swing­ing door.

“You could call it a but­ler’s pantry, but it’s ac­tu­ally a proper kitchen and every chef’s dream,” says Jake.

No ex­pense has been spared on the prop­erty, with the lat­est sound sys­tem and au­toma­tion prod­ucts adding $130,000 to the nor­mal elec­tri­cal pack­age.

The base­ment is equally im­pres­sive, with a laun­dry, which Jake says is the size of a stan­dard liv­ing room, a gymnasium with a bath­room and wine cel­lar.

On the water­front

While liv­ing by the river cer­tainly has it perks, the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of building a house on a site so close to the wa­ter that can with­stand the sun and salt air is not so straight­for­ward. Wood rot, rust and damp and are some of the ob­vi­ous risks, but the home­owner was on the front foot against the el­e­ments from the get-go. Jake says his client was in­tent on us­ing in­no­va­tive ma­te­ri­als to build a water­front home of the fu­ture. Alpolic ex­te­rior cladding, an alu­minium

The owner chose in­no­va­tive cladding ma­te­ri­als that over­come many of the main­te­nance is­sues associated with building by the wa­ter.

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