Featured on the LifeStyle Channel’s Grand Designs Australia, Stoneyfell Watertank house is an experimental and intricate building based around two enormous water tanks that can capture and store a year’s worth of rain water.
Of all the Australian capital cities, Adelaide is the driest, with an average rainfall of approximately 520mm a year. When designing and building homes, saving rain water through the installation of water tanks within the build should ideally be incorporated into the design. This, however, is an uncommon approach for a number of reasons, including structural, space and aesthetic challenges. For Mike Dare and his wife Lowen Partridge, this challenge was the drive for their new home – the Stoneyfell Watertank House.
Mike’s working background spans 40 years as a structural engineer, and he has designed some of Adelaide’s most prominent buildings. Mike could almost cite finding solutions to problems as a hobby of his. “I’ve always been taught you can find a solution to a problem,” Mike states. Designing a home with water tanks is not uncommon, but Mike and Lowen decided to design a home with two massive custom-designed water tanks, each one holding up to 100,000 litres. These water tanks would anchor and support the rest of the house structure — and be hidden.
With a passion for practical and well-designed buildings, Mike’s aim for this watertank house (his fifth and Lowen’s sixth) was to design a structure that would not only capture a year’s supply of water, but also be heated and cooled by the water tanks. Wanting to do it all, and acting as the designer, structural engineer, builder and interior designer, Mike came up with a plan that challenged almost every concept of house design.
The two tailor-made 3m × 3m × 5m water tanks, placed on slabs, provide the only connection of the Stoneyfell Watertank House to the ground. Designed to capture rainwater and provide heating and cooling, the tanks act as the backbone for the two main living pavilions. One pavilion houses the master bedroom wing, complete with an en-suite bathroom, large walk-in wardrobe and home office. The other pavilion features the main living area — lounge/dining room, TV room, double open-plan kitchen and sun-room — as well as the main bathroom and two additional guest bedrooms.
The third pavilion is home to a garage and workshop, and completes the triple-fronted house look. “I was inspired by the many post-war triple-fronted brick homes that served the country well during the period of material shortages,” Mike explains. The irony is what’s “hidden” inside. “We wanted to construct a thoughtfully designed, modern and environmentally conscious dwelling that sits well in its local and broader SA environment,” Lowen explains.
All structural elements were highly evolved and integrated before construction began. Mike’s engineering background meant that he was able to design sturdy pieces that would last and provide comfort for his and his wife’s home. The main components were, however, all designed off-site, and the Stoneyfell Watertank House is a great example of how this contemporary way of building can successfully work. It’s quicker, weather-resistant, and provides immediate access to all the machinery required.
The enormous water tanks were prepared in a factory specialising in industrial steel fabrication, a fitting decision based on their scale. The walling system, also designed off-site, proved a hiccup: the panel company went into administration, with the wall panels only half finished. Luckily Mike was able to strike a deal with his employer at the time to buy the machinery for their own work and finish making his walls.
The Stoneyfell Watertank house, thanks to the decision to build off-site, went up quickly. The placing of the 2.5-tonne tanks required the street to be closed off, but the beautifully engineered tanks fitted perfectly into their designated space. On another day the wall panels (weighing at up to 700kg each) were easily inserted into their spaces, and the shape of the house became apparent. It was evident even at this early stage that the structure was robust and tough, designed to withstand and also capitalise on the intermittent Australian environment.
Another pioneering feature of the experimental Stoneyfell Watertank House is the simple yet effective roof system. The corrugated-iron funnel-like configuration provides a large gap for rainwater to fall in, and then funnel down into the well-built tanks. There are no roof gutters, and all water caught goes straight into the tank.
The fabric roofing overlay is an interesting and novel touch. The gauze-like material (imported from Paris), normally used for sunshades, offers the appearance of a traditional pitched roof. Like the rest of the house this depends on an illusion: Mike has chosen an array of materials that offer the appearance of something they are not. The fabric roofing looks like a solid conventional roof, the glass reinforced concrete used to make the walls looks like concrete, and the utilitarian tanks are completely hidden. These hidden tanks mesh into the interior scheme, and if you weren’t told, you might never guess that they were present.
Apart from collecting a year’s supply of water, the tanks also offer temperature control. Mike designed the Stoneyfell Watertank House with this capability in mind, and implemented expandable insulation foam (a meringue-like foamy spray) to be sprayed into all the cracks to ensure the dwelling was airtight. The stored water now provides a stabilising 15-degree thermal mass which helps reduce heating and cooling requirements.
Traditional eaves were also eliminated to enable Mike and Lowen to use the sun’s rays on the Trombe operable glass walls on the northern facade of the building. In the colder months the Trombe walls heat the living area, and in summer they act as thermal pumps to draw air across the cold water tanks and into the living areas of the dwelling. It’s a futuristic and drought-proof creation that today, perched high in its position, fits into the Stoneyfell streetscape.
The earthy tones accentuated by the brown window-frames add a certain warmth to the exterior, and the colouring works marvellously well among the Australian foliage. It’s what’s inside that astounds and inspires.
As you step into the living area you are met with remarkable views and an abundance of light channelled through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The kitchen is Lowen’s favourite part of the house. The sliding-screen window can be opened or closed, doubling the kitchen space when it comes to entertaining, a hobby of Lowen’s. The furnishing items are fresh and minimal, accentuating the simple chic look that the couple were after. “I love the double kitchen and bar because it’s the social centrepiece to the house and I love cooking. I also really enjoy sitting down with a book in the lounge-room while taking in the stunning views of Adelaide,” she says.
Mike’s favourite space is his office, and it’s no surprise, since we know this man likes his work (who else designs, engineers, builds and decorates their own home?). He also finds himself in the sunroom often: “I love it because of its purity of form,” he says.
It’s evident the Stoneyfell Watertank House is a success. Mike and Lowen are comfortable, and are living in what can only be called an environmentally conscious multifarious magnificence. The complete package of engineered elements, all innovative and experimental, has worked impeccably well, and the average person would have no idea looking at the house from the outside.
“If you don’t try something through a fear of failing, then you’ll never do anything in your life,” Mike says — and this house, sitting confidently in the leafy suburb of Stoneyfell, is legacy to that.
Head Contractor/Builder Darengineer Pty Ltd (0408 828 090 or firstname.lastname@example.org) Structural and Civil Engineer Darengineer Pty Ltd (0408 828 090 or email@example.com) Concreter SA Construct Pty Ltd (0421 708 007 saconstruct.com.au)
Aluminium and Glass Aluco (08 8276 5555 aluco.com.au) Architecture and Construction Darengineer Pty Ltd (0408 828 090 or firstname.lastname@example.org) Carpentry Bone Built Carpentry (0403 879 535) GRC Wall Fabrication & Erection Robin Johnson Engineering Pty Ltd (08 8300 9500 rje.net.au) Concrete SA Construct Pty Ltd (0421 708 007 saconstuct.com.au) Roof Covering Weathersafe Shades (08 8276 1111 weathersafe.com.au) Steel Erection Montica Engineering (08 8333 2400 montica.com.au) Steel Fabrication Bowhill Engineering (08 8570 4208 boweng.com.au)
FIXTURES AND FITTINGS
Cabinetmakers Spry & Spry Architectural Cabinetmakers (08 8276 5465 or email@example.com) Plumbing Gas & Electrical PGE Pty Ltd (08 8447 5746 or firstname.lastname@example.org) Timber Flooring Bone Timber Industries (08) 8297 8277 bonetimber.com.au)
By Tatyana Leonov
Photography by Rhiannon Slatter
From Grand Designs Australia magazine Vol. 1 No. 3
If you enjoyed reading about the Stoneyfell Watertank House in Adelaide, check out more great Grand Designs homes in our archives.
If this sounds like you, then maybe you should invest in Electrolux’s brilliant new design concept and creation called Motherspoon which allows you to duplicate recipes exactly. The Motherspoon uses intricate sensors on its spoon to pick up ingredients, which are then stored online on an internet program. This program can be synced to other Motherspoons, so you can provide access to your children (or friends) to your recipe database.
Fill your home with these silver tones, fur finishes and sharp designs this winter.
1. Turn your room into something magical with the Snoiga mural by Eijffinger from VERVE DESIGNER COLLECTIONS. RRP from $1198. Vervedc.com
2. Whether you use it as a coat hanger or an artwork, the Nel Lusso resin impala from ZIMBA is not so controversial when painted in a white lacquer. RRP $79.95. zimba.com.au
3. Sharp lines and cool tones make the round Diamond rug by Emma Elizabeth for DESIGNER RUGS an ideal addition to your winter collection. RRP $4500. designerrugs.com.au
4. Made of marble, the elegant materials in the Rock side table by GINGER & JAGGER are contrasted by the stone aesthetic and the angular design. RRP $5684.22. gingerandjagger.com
5. Leave it empty or fill it with comforting winter candy, the extra-large Juliette jar from BROWN BUTTON TRADING will be a fabulous centrepiece for the table. RRP $89.95. brownbuttontrading.com.au
6. Over the top in all aspects and with a crisp white finish, the Henry armchair from SOVEREIGN INTERIORS would be perfect as a throne. RRP $2900. sovereigninteriors.com.au
7. An elegant pattern with intricate detailing, the Motivo Lace surface from CAESARSTONE is even available in a shade of Snow. RRP $500 (per square metre).
8. Used either as a rug or as a throw, the solid white cowhide rug from RUG & HIDE will complete your winter collection. RRP $1020. rughide.com.au
9. More of an artwork than a mirror, the Blossom mirror by Thomas Pheasant from BAKER FURNITURE is a sculpture of brass and crystal. RRP $10,797. cavitco.com.au
10. You wouldn’t be mistaken for assuming a pendant such as the Luminessie by KRISTINA MELNIKOVA would be hanging in a snow queen’s lair. RRP $799. email@example.com
11. The Radiant Drum table by Thomas Pheasant from BAKER FURNITURE combines the traditional hourglass shape with a modern metallic silver leaf finish. RRP $2142. cavitco.com.au
12. The Synapsis extra-large table by Jean-Marie Massaud from SPACE FURNITURE displays a dramatic maze of chrome, white or black iron rods. RRP from $9000. spacefurniture.com.au
By Karsha Green
From Home Design magazine Vol. 16 No. 3
From wild, Serengeti style to Japanese-themed, we’ve compiled a selection of the most beautiful bedrooms to get you inspired for your next bedroom makeover.
1. Rustic charm
Muted tones and simple furnishings contrast highly detailed wallpaper in this rustic, calm-inducing bedroom.
Wallpaper: Architectural wallpaper by Wallpaper Republic, wallpaperrepublic.com
2. Eclectic and tactile bedroom
An eclectic mix of pleated wallpaper, sleek furnishings and patterned fabrics lend a tactile element to this bedroom. A colourful artwork completes the space and adds a pop of colour.
Designer: Christopher Elliot Design, christopherelliotdesign.com.au
Photography by Sharyn Cairns
3. Japanese-inspired bedroom
This relaxed bedroom featuring Japanese-inspired décor is a great decorating option for a young male.
Designer: Brooke Aitken Design, brookeaitkendesign.com
Photography Marian Riabic
4. French and fauna
Hints of green and an abundance of natural light make for an airy and elegant bedroom. This one is located in a villa in the South of France.
Designer: Kelly Hoppen, kellyhoppen.com
5. African-themed bedroom
There’s no shortage of animal print in this Serengeti-themed bedroom. Note the giant peacock that watches over you while you sleep.
Designer: Amgad Kamel Interiors, akinteriors.com.au
Photography by Andrew Lecky
6. Prints and patterns
Mixed prints and patterns come together in this fun, bright, vintage-style bedroom.
Wallpaper: Round and Round the Garden in Ginger Jar Blue by Anna Spiro for Porters, porterspaints.com.au
7. Mirror, mirror
In this sophisticated bedroom, a large mirrored feature wall reflects light and gives the impression of more space, while adding a sense of effortless luxury.
Designer: Massimo Speroni, massimointeriors.com.au
Photography by Stu Morley
8. Industrial bush bedroom
This industrial-style bedroom (part of the Bushfire house seen on the LifeStyle Channel’s Grand Designs Australia) features a rustic bedhead surrounded by floor to ceiling windows.
Designer: SWALE Developments, swale.com.au, Hamilton Design, hamiltondesign.com.au
Photography by Rhiannon Slatter
9. POP of colour
Bold colours from an eye-catching artwork are repeated around the room to make this bedroom really pop.
Designer: Canny Design, canny.com.au
Photography by Derek Swalwell
10. Hollywood-inspired bedroom
Missoni furnishings add detail to this otherwise simple ‘50s Hollywood-inspired bedroom.
Designer: Greg Natale Designs, gregnatale .com
Photography by Anson Smart
11. The spare bedroom/office
Simple furnishings compliment a rich wall colour in this flexible office space/spare bedroom.
Furnishings: Bo Concept, boconcept.com.au
By Sarah Knox
Architect and safety advocate Robert Caulfield shares his advice on how to prevent injury in the home by designing with safety in mind.
Each year, thousands of Australians are treated in hospital for accidents that have occurred in their own houses. That’s not even mentioning deaths, the statistics for which are kept by state coroners.
According to Monash University, an estimated 320,000 children under the age of 15 make a trip to the E.R. after hurting themselves at home, the bulk of which are caused by a fall.
Over 100,000 adults are treated for falls, slips or trips — many of the more serious due to accidents with ladders and roofs. A further 45,000 receive cuts from contact with glass, knives and tools.
With regards to seniors, the vast majority are treated for falls in and around their homes.
All of these accidents are 100 per cent preventable, but it’s not just common sense that helps avoid such situations.
Sydney architect Brad Inwood of Homesafe Group, says good design means you’re not unknowingly putting yourself or your loved ones at risk.
“Many injuries can be averted if homes have been sensibly planned to minimise falls, slips, maintenance accidents and harm to toddlers. With the assistance of Kidsafe (the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia) and Monash University, we have been able to estimate the percentage chance of dangers being present in average Australian homes,” Inwood says.
Thus, a home renovation project presents the perfect opportunity to address these issues in the home.
“Home safety design does not add cost nor does it compromise design integrity, but it can save lives — there is no worse situation than seeing your loved ones injured in your own home, and later realising that it could have been prevented,” Inwood points out.
Some things to consider when embarking on a safety-focussed renovation include re-designed stairs, toddler-proof doors, low-maintenance roofs and gutters, non-slip surfaces and safety lighting.
Make sure also that your house complies with current building regulations, such as a maximum gap of 125mm in stair balustrades and correctly dimensioned stair treads/risers.
“In addition, we recommend that upper level windows be fitted with secure screens or have the opening lockable at 125mm,” Inwood says.
This sort of home renovation project not only provides first-class sustainable, economical design but maximises capital gains opportunities.
A house that minimises the potential for accidents, particularly to children and seniors, is undoubtedly attractive real estate.
“We hope that one day there will be a level of awareness of the home injury toll as there is of the road toll,” Inwood adds. “This would help reduce the enormous emotional burden on families, and the financial health cost to government, due to home injuries.”
For those looking for inspiration, or more information about home safety improvements, resources are available. Renovators can download a free home injury fact sheet, do-it-yourself child home safety guide, and do-it-yourself home improvement guide at www.homesafegroup.com.au.
Robert Caulfield is a Melbourne-based, international architect. He is the founder of Archicentre, CK Designworks, past national president of the Australian Institute of Architects, a Homesafe Group director and president of Kidsafe Victoria.
By Robert Caulfield
Image by Franck Boston/bigstock.com
From Renovate magazine Vol. 8 No. 5
Take a look inside a relaxing and glamorous French countryside home designed by Kelly Hoppen.
This spectacular French countryside home, designed by Kelly Hoppen and situated in France’s picturesque south, near Antibes, was a challenge for the celebrated British interior designer and entrepreneur known around the world for her iconic neutral style.
Her London-based client wanted a very classic home and had different tastes to Kelly. “The client was much more traditional than me and wanted something beautiful, but not too feminine in its overall look, as it is a place for the whole family,” says Kelly. “She also wanted a lot of colour, which I am not usually associated with. We overcame these challenges together; the client was wonderful to work with, knew exactly what she wanted, and had many ideas.”
The job mainly involved the soft furnishings, but there was also some building work done in the kitchen and on the floors. As with all of her projects, Kelly started with a neutral base and then built on this with accents of colour in each room, using stunning fabrics, art, and star pieces of furniture such as the pink Moissonnier table in the entrance hall. “The client wanted colour in every room so this was something I really had to take into consideration when designing the interior,” says Kelly.
She took her inspiration from the scenic surrounding environment. “It is always a big part of my inspiration when I am working abroad,” says Kelly. “I wanted to try to use as many natural, organic materials as possible so I incorporated lots of linen, distressed wood, and lightweight sheer curtains to allow the light in.
“It is now a very homely and relaxing villa without being fussy. It is the perfect place for a family break, but also where family and friends can come together due to the beautiful outdoor area, perfect for this climate. I really love the outdoor space and also the entrance hall and living room. It was a great project to work on as the client and I worked extremely well together and really bounced ideas off each other.”
The stunning outdoor area has been designed to be a space where families and friends can enjoy food and conversation around the beautiful Heveningham dining table, while relishing the spectacular views from the terrace. The light linen fabrics used for the cushions contribute to the relaxed feel, while the ornate Guadarte chandeliers add a touch of glamour.
The eye-catching pink Moissonnier table at the centre and pink velvet borders on the curtains make the entrance hall a truly unique space and quite different to anything Kelly has designed before. The client’s favourite colour is pink so Kelly has undoubtedly remained loyal to the brief. A Birgit Israel chandelier hangs elegantly over the table and the floor-to-ceiling windows naturally light up the room beautifully.
Living room design details
Kelly has elegantly designed the living room with an Andrew Martin sofa and striking black chairs from Collection Pierre. The collection of black IPE Cavalli coffee tables in the centre of the room is complemented by the dramatic black and white accessories and the beautiful black and white Birgit Israel lamps. Here, Kelly decided to stick with her neutral colour palette as she felt the formal living spaces should be more neutral areas where the family members and their individual tastes come together in a harmonious way.
Dining room design details
In the dining room, the La Fibule armchairs undoubtedly contribute to a relaxed dining experience, while the beautiful sconce from DK Home and the candlesticks from the Kelly Hoppen store create a glamorous atmosphere. The black B/K honed slate used on the work surfaces and island provide a functional space to cook, as well as making the kitchen boldly attractive.
Bedroom design details
By Danielle Townsend
From Luxury Home Design magazine Vol. 15 No. 6
This clean modern space makes a perfect kitchen for the whole family.
“The owners wanted to revitalise the dated kitchen in their family home. My brief was to improve the work and preparation zones, and incorporate clean, minimal lines while adding elements of texture and warmth. The owners also desired new and innovative appliances. The kitchen was repositioned to make the space a central hub for family living and entertaining; it uses a U-shape layout with an island to allow for better flow between the kitchen, dining and living areas. Highly functional and uncluttered, the kitchen features ample bench space and storage. Everything has its own place thanks to innovative storage and corner cabinet solutions, wide soft-close drawers and a hidden bi-fold appliance cupboard. At the rear of the kitchen, a timber panel splashback finished with Starphire toughened glass is framed by a wall of cabinetry that adds warmth and a point of focus to the fresh white kitchen. Two 60cm Siemens ovens have been added to cater for large family gatherings while an undermount Schweigen rangehood with an externally mounted motor offers a clean, uncluttered look and whisper-quiet extraction.”
Designer: Kia Douglas for Western Cabinets
A U-shaped kitchen provides plenty of storage and workspace for the home chef.
The striking timber-look splashback. Notice how it ties in with the island’s matching drawer fronts.
Shop the look
Cabinetry ULTRAglaze Cream
Panels ULTRAglaze Cream 40mm
Drawers Cleaf Dark Ciliegio Marbella
Internal hardware Hettich InnoTech silent drawer system, Häfele LeMans tall corner unit, Häfele LeMans base corner unit, two Häfele 450mm Cargo 35L waste bins, Hettich Wingline bi-fold appliance cabinet
Benchtop essastone New Crystal Salt
Handles Häfele Trim Handle 115.98.007
Wall Dulux Lexicon White
Splashback Clear Starphire glass over Cleaf Dark Ciliegio Marbella behind hotplate, Cream Starphire glass to remainder of splashbacks
Kickboards Polytec brushed stainless
Floor Granite 300mm x 300mm
Lighting Hera KB12 LED warm lights
Oven Siemens HB76AU560A 10-function pyrolytic 60cm oven, Siemens HB56AU550A 10-function 60cm oven
Cooktop Siemens ER926SB90A 90cm gas
Rangehood Schweigen UM11709SP undermount with external silent motor
Dishwasher Siemens SX66T091AU fully integrated
Refrigerator Jenn-Air JC2225GEKB
Sink Abey SE175 LHD
Taps Novelli mixer
A bathroom renovation provides the client with a high quality, modern and Scandinavian wet room
“My brief was to re-design the existing bathroom which was dated and non-functional. We removed the existing bath and replaced it with a generous shower and frameless screen, a suspended vanity with undermount basins, and an illuminated splashback to give the room more depth and a clean, fresh and spacious feel. A sliding door was replaced with a streamline window for additional natural light. The result is a bathroom that’s modern, creative and innovative. The custom-lit splashback provides an abundance of light as well as a modern feature. Other unique elements include suspended and overhead cabinetry with a custom lift-up mirror — a clever solution that provides storage while keeping the room light and uncluttered. The space is modern yet warm due to the beautiful harmonisation of materials. Here, the simple contrast of high-gloss white doors with timber feature framework complements the illuminated natural marble splashback.”
Designer: Kia Douglas for Western Cabinets
A wall-to-wall mirror gives the illusion of more space and light — perfect for compact spaces.
The luxe Scandinavian aesthetic of this bathroom.
SHOP THE LOOK
Tiles Wall: White rectified high-gloss 600mm x 300mm, Floor: Taupe matt 300mm x 300mm
Basin Two Villeroy & Boch 6163 undermounts
Vanity ULTRAglaze Arctic Ice drawer fronts, Laminex Avignon Walnut melamine 50mm framework, essastone Crystal Salt 20mm stone top, Häfele 296mm chrome handles 100.56.037, soft-close drawers
Cabinetry Mirrored overhead cabinet with Laminex Avignon Walnut prefinished internals
Taps Novelli mixer
Lights Energy efficient LED light panelling
Mirror Lift-up with Hettich Lift Advanced HS
Unit 1, 9 Sundercombe St, Osborne Park WA
This gorgeous kitchen brings new life to a traditional kitchen design.
“A sense of grandeur and perfectly antiqued paintwork helped transform this room from a dull, lifeless space into a palace. The homeowner imagined a traditional antique-style kitchen that would be the centrepiece for the kitchen/living room. However, the challenge was the low ceiling, which made it difficult to maintain a sense of balance and proportion. Now the chimney facade, centred on the back wall, sets the design, and the butler sink and tap work well with the view to the garden.”
Designer: David Martin for The Kitchen Place
Adding to the beauty of this period-style space is the stunning chandelier, butler sink and traditional tapware.
The chimney facade, which is the centrepiece of the design.
SHOP THE LOOK
Cabinetry Traditional hand-painted
Internal hardware Blum
Kickboards Plain and heritage
Lighting LEDs to cabinets
Cooktop/hotplate Bosch induction
SHOP THEIR SHOWROOM
33 Church St, Hawthorn Vic
(03) 9823 3552
Unique styling, ergonomics and spatial innovation come together at the Insync Kitchens showroom in Brisbane.
Insync Kitchens breathes new life into kitchen designs for Brisbane and its surrounds with a new design studio and showroom. The custom design destination offers an extensive range of leading and specialist brands of kitchen surfaces, accessories, appliances, sinks and tapware to create designs as unique as each homeowner.
The experienced Insync team works closely with you to help you create a kitchen that will seamlessly incorporate your lifestyle and design choices, offering inspiring and exciting new design possibilities.
Stunning custom kitchens are on display to help you envisage the potential for a distinctive style, including the latest in curved designer kitchens and ergonomic design — all manufactured in Queensland.
Book in advance for a cost and obligation-free design service.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Insync Kitchens 65 Snook St, Clontarf, Qld
Phone 07 3142 0385
Open Mon–Thu 9.30am-5pm, Fri 9.30am-4.30pm, Sat 9.30am-2pm
Originally from Kitchen Yearbook magazine, Volume 18