Think three levels, four bedrooms, five bathrooms, three spa baths, huge lounge/dining area, spacious kitchen/bar, home theatre, gym, offices (two offices - one for the kids) plus two double garages and a couple of single garages.
That may remain a dream for most, but Mark Gwyn, co-owner of Northside Roofing in Brisbane, made it come true. Mark wanted to build a spacious home with plenty of room for his two young children when they became teenagers. His new house at Beachmere, with its floor plan of 942 square metres, should meet their needs with a bit of room to spare.
The stunning home was created in concept by Mark and wife Jenny, then handed to designer Cliff Ryan for completion. The basic floor plan is bent into a U-shape, to provide a cushion from ocean winds.
"I knew I wanted the horseshoe shape and I knew the general floor plan and orientation, so I drew up the concept, then Cliff Ryan turned it into a home, rather than just a house," Mark said. " He gave all the elements the right proportions and added some grand features to the design, such as the front facade."
The Stramit® steel roof is a major design feature of the house. Although little of the roof is visible from the ground, the house is nevertheless a dramatic example of the flexibility of metal roofing, since the roof lines could not be realised in any other material.
The curved roof at the top of the house wraps over the upper living area " like an eyelid" according to Mark. "We used Stramit's Longspan® cladding because it could be curved in two directions," he said, "and because it provides superior waterproofing."
Traditional Stramit® Corrugated cladding was used for the pitched roofs. All roofing, guttering and fascia was rolled from COLORBOND® Ultra steel for added protection against the corrosive salt air. The roof sheeting is light-coloured (COLORBOND® Ultra steel in the colour Dune®) to reflect heat, with guttering to match, and COLORBOND® Ultra steel in the colour Surfmist® fascia to provide a subtle contrast.
The water supply for the house is collected from the roof. The house was built up on earthworks, mostly to enhance the view, but also to allow the rainwater to drain to 8 tanks, each holding 23,000 litres, providing a potential 184,000 litres that can be pumped back to the house at mains pressure.
Mark said the catchment system depended on Stramit® 175 Quad gutters and 150mm diameter PVC downpipes. "That provides plenty of head pressure to fill the rainwater tanks," he said. "I prefer the Stramit gutter because of its brackets - often, where water gathers towards the downpipes, the brackets can give way, but with the stronger Stramit gutter brackets, we can catch every drop."
In keeping with Mark's green leanings, the house is not air-conditioned. Ventilation is provided by six turbine vents on the roof, plus remote-controlled louvres on the side of the house facing the beach.
The striking design and quality finishes of the house were recently recognised by the Master Builders Association of Queensland, who named it House of the Year at the MBA 2007 Brisbane Housing & Construction Awards.