Ralston Street - House Renovation
The brief for Ralston Street was low set living, pool,
plunge and spa, separated living, and central entertaining. It is fair to say
this brief was achieved.
The swimming pool posed quite a challenge and believe it or
not with such a dry year, the water table in this area was surprisingly high.
The swimming pool shell consisted of a 300mm subbase slab, 1 metre below ground
with a masonry block shell extending approximately 800mm above ground, steeled
up and core filled providing a solid substrate to steel and spray up and
finish. It is the small features that make a big difference and there are many
throughout this project. Things like ensuring the pool and spa pumps are far
enough away so they don’t interfere with the use of the space. The pool used a
significant parcel of the budget, featuring in the centre of the property
between the two living spaces. One of standout features of this build is the
roof that extends over the full stretch of the project. The roof structure over
the pool proudly supported by impressive 200x200mm hardwood columns, clearly a
main feature in this space.
The existing building was a very small cottage style
Queenslander, evident in the before shots. The rear section of the cottage
accommodated a kitchen, bedroom and ensuite, laundry and alfresco dining area.
The original structure occupied a small living space, family room and bedrooms
and associated ensuites. One nice feature throughout this property is that
every bedroom has its own ensuite. Hungry on space but it works well. There are
a few items throughout this design where the owners insisted on particular
finishes contrary to our advice. For the living and family room in the original
building we recommended opening into one space, we believed it was too small. However
the owners were quite insistent and satisfied with the layout, and we respectfully
obliged in filling their brief. Another
area that will be noticed on inspection is the lack of storage. We recommended
design change to include built-in cabinetry for robes and storage. Naturally
these are features that are important to us as designers and builders, however
we must be reminded from time to time what is important to the client. I
believe the important thing is to table the options and then that decision is
This remodelling project I believe is a great example of
modern day living where contemporary meets the traditional Queenslander. It
provides a very elegant blend with charm that can suit anyone. The lap pool
features a plunge zone and a very spacious spa. The spa features a dual pump
unit that would satisfy anybody’s expectations. Its performance is impressive
and features well with the design.
The lighting throughout this property naturally is only
highlighted at night fall. There are small but high powered LED’s in the pool;
designed to illuminate long distances, i.e. the LED’s running longitudinally in
the pool, others running across the pool have different lenses calculated to
light the space effectively. The objective in lighting design is to minimise
attention at the light source. Lighting in a way that the source is either not
visible or at least not noticed. There is also LED strip lighting under the
handrails that run the length of the pool entertainment area. Collectively the
lighting is impressive when set to do so. Most of the downlights are dimmable,
none of which are overstated but add a warm touch.
Unfortunately landscaping was not part of our contract, we
would have loved to have included this as part of the project as I believe it
would have added a finishing touch to a resort finish. The owners of this
property were a delight to work with. They were obliging, trusting, reliable
and charming. It was a pleasure taking on this project not only because it was
beautiful and interesting, it is just great working with decent people.