‘Being narrow with two heritage buildings on either side, this property is typical of many nineteenth-century terraces where lack of light is a real issue,’ Jeffrey says. ‘The courtyard gives light to all the rooms downstairs.’
Upstairs are the three remodelled bedrooms, with the master suite looking out onto a full-length verandah. The rear bedroom faces a deck, outdoor living area and an above-ground, solar-heated swimming pool.
‘The placement of the pool on the first floor was an innovative design solution,’ Jeffrey says. ‘It increased the light in the downstairs rooms. This was achieved by installing two glazed panels in the bottom of the pool, thus creating a natural light source which allows the northern sun to penetrate deep to the lower levels of the building.’
Indeed, the 60-tonne swimming pool presented considerable challenges for construction. ‘To bear the weight it was supported by an expressed steel cradle at each end,’ he says. ‘But any elevated pool has the potential for leakage. So we made sure that, in consultation with the engineers and architects, we addressed that issue prior to commencement.’
If construction of a first-floor pool was one challenge, excavation to create a below-ground basement presented an even greater one: ‘This meant excavating down between two adjoining properties that had nine-metre walls,’ Jeffrey explains. ‘A piling rig had to be installed with all the logistics of getting the soil and excavation machinery in and out by the lane at the rear.’