a ‘his and hers’ home marrying creativity and function
– gary and gail, geminus one
Gail and Gary were living in Sydney, but planning to make a lifestyle change to Tassie in their retirement years. They wanted a home that truly expressed their artistic personalities – something bold that made an impact on the street. The trouble was, they had quite different personalities! Gail is an extrovert who loves to cook and entertain, while Gary is a more reserved person who expresses himself through music.
The elegant solution developed by Richard Hall is Geminus One, two pavilions for two personalities. The pavilions were quickly dubbed the Light Side and the Dark Side, and joined together they make a harmonious home.
Gary is a guitarist and needed a soundproofed space, with plenty of room for his gear (including six guitars, amps, speakers and a digital drumkit). He wanted to practice and rehearse without disturbing his neighbours, or his wife.
Gail is an excellent cook, with all the professional equipment this requires, and she needed plenty of storage and a roomy pantry in the kitchen, what she calls her ‘she shed’.
Coming from Sydney, they also needed a spare bedroom for visiting friends and family and plenty of room to entertain.
The couple got in touch with us early in the process. They were looking for advice on selecting a block, as well as design and construction.
We helped them find a block in the seaside town of Shearwater. The surrounding houses are typical suburban brick homes, in fact the street was subject to a covenant that required all houses to be masonry.
Gary and Gail’s dream-home design was clad in aluminium, so we negotiated with the developers to change the covenant, which they were happy to do once they saw the innovative plans. Locally the design has become quite a talking point.
The two pavilions are designed to serve two separate functions. The Light Side is open and expansive, with high ceilings and huge windows to let in the light. This is the space for entertaining, cooking, eating, and relaxing. This pavilion is open at each end and draws you through to the outdoor entertaining area in the backyard.
The Dark Side is a more personal and private space. The music studio, master and spare bedrooms, and bathrooms are housed in this pavilion, along with the laundry and garage.
In the glass-walled atrium linking the two is a beautiful tree sculpture, a memorial to Gail’s mother who has passed away.
The light side of this home is filled with natural light, high ceilings give a sense of spaciousness and ease, while windows provide plenty of fresh air and cross-ventilation. Bathrooms are sealed and treated to prevent damaging mold.
It was also important to Gail and Gary to respect each other’s downtime and rest. This led to the decision to put Gary’s studio in one pavilion and the busy kitchen in the other. Gary can play music without disturbing Gail, and equally Gail, an early riser, can get to work in the kitchen without intruding on Gary’s sleep.
Gail and Gary had a clear vision for a bold and modern home that made an unforgettable impression, both inside and out.
The Light Side features a 14m raked ceiling that descends all the way to the back of the pavilion. The open plan makes the most of the expansive design.
The exterior was finished in coloured aluminium cladding to achieve a sleek modern design that seems to be thrusting forward into the future. The couple added a striking sculptural element to the Dark Side, with a folded facade that’s reminiscent of origami. Each of the panels were individually fitted, then removed, and powder-coated before final installation to achieve this effect.
The Light Side’s enormous raked ceiling required 14m roof sheets. We were reluctant to create a join in the roof, which would have been vulnerable to leaks. Instead, we closed down the road and removed guideposts from a roundabout in order to transport the roof sheets to the site, where they were installed by crane. The exterior aluminium sheeting, especially the sculptural forms, required precision design and installation by skilled professionals.
Another crucial technology for this project was the internet. Gail and Gary were not based locally during the build, so we worked closely with them online in Sydney with regular conference calls, photos, videos and walkthroughs.
custom built home
(up to $500,000)
$300,000 – $500,000
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