Series 5 · Episode 6
After years working abroad, Sarah and English born husband Alistair Brodie-Fraser decided to relocate back to Sarah’s home town of Toowoomba in Queensland. This time the move will be permanent – close to Sarah’s extended family. But with Sarah’s father being German, her mother Scottish and Alistair’s connection with the UK, memories of Europe were bound to have some influence in the design of their new house.
Their plan is for something that oozes heritage….. a classic English farmhouse that could be plucked from rural England and dropped onto their one acre sloping block in sunny Queensland. What they want is $2.4 million of grandeur from another place and time.
From the steep pitched tiled roof and traditional European interiors, to wood block herringbone flooring, Sarah and Alistair are committed to making everything as authentic as possible….with a touch of fantasy.
For Sarah no English farmhouse is complete without the romance of a traditional library with mezzanine wrap around gallery and spiral stair.
It’s dreaming that’s led to a scale you just don’t see in domestic architecture….because this is a very
big house - 900 square metres on a precipitous site that that needs 100 deeply set piers buried
under 50 truckloads of concrete, just to get the land horizontal. Then there’s the enormous retaining
walls….. cut from the local sandstone quarry that will ensure this huge house stays exactly where
It’s a massive venture that will take more than a part time interest to get it done. Bravely Alistair is up for the job, throwing in his full time work to self manage the project. But this is a task of epic proportions that would challenge even the most experienced Project Manager. What’s even more impressive is that there is no architect. Instead all the paperwork is merely an interpretation made from Alistair and Sarah’s original sketches.
But as the house fills out, the demands on Alistair intensify as quick decision making becomes a daily pressure. It’s a level of work that’s bound to have repercussions on the build….and on Alistair.
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