-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Monday, September 29, 2008

Amsterdam School architecture

I was in Amsterdam last week for a work conference and managed to stay a bit longer so as to get an afternoon to explore.

There wasn't really anything specific that I'll take away as inspiration for Amherst, but there were still a few quirky things that caught my eye. In particular this amazing building called Het Schip.

I found it totally by accident when I was walking from the hotel to the conference. It turns out it's one of the most iconic buildings by Michel de Klerk, a famous architect of the Amsterdam School. He made me think of a dutch version of Frank Lloyd Wright...who had a thing for brick. :-)

I took tons of photos and video of Het Schip and surrounds, here's a compilation.

Besides this, Museum Van Loon was great to wander in: kind of like a National Trust house but dutch. I wish I'd had more time to properly explore. In particular it had a fabulous garden room, really light due to the use of mirrors; and a great kitchen that had the very clever idea of white tiles on the (very low) ceiling to make it easy to clean. :-)

For some reason, I also really liked this row house that almost looked like it had a triangular corner, and the effect you got looking through the windows.

Museum Van Loon in Amsterdam - 7 Amsterdam street scenes - 14

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Planning permit is approved, yay!

We had a slight panic a few months back when it appeared they'd re-zoned our property from Rural Zone to Rural Farming Zone, which meant that ordinarily we'd only be allowed to have the one house on the property. We decided therefore to get clarification as soon as possible before investing more time in doing up the old house, by applying for a planning permit.

And the great news is, they've granted it!! So we can go ahead with everything as planned. Yay!!!

There are some constraints but nothing that seems out of the ordinary or unexpected. You can see the full details here.

Below are Dad's initial thoughts and updates from September 24th:

I think the development commencement can be considered with the Septech system, watertank for the fire service, and renovations of the old house. However they may consider the work on the new house must be commenced within two years. If so perhaps I could ask if site preparation, eg the required cutting before foundations are established, would be acceptable as a commencement of the new structure. An extension of completion time is probably relatively easy. There is a risk that if an adequate commencement is not achieved it will lapse and the planning permit come up for consideration again. I think we ought to proceed with getting a permit for the new structure before commencing any other work on it, especially the site preparation, even though you do not wish to proceed with it until closer to your return. I am waiting to hear from the plumber, and will call him soon. I took the work of drawing to Allan Davies. He has only to tweak the original drawings and print some copies. Should not be very costly, and he promised completion by the end of this week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ebay win: iron balustrading

We got lucky recently and picked up some old wrought iron stair balustrading that I'm sure will come in handy for some of the outdoor stairs, probably on the old house.

wrought iron balustrading

From the Ebay description:

11 Pieces of wrought iron stair balustrade, it is well made in heavy iron and looks like its hand made . I bought it second hand about 15 years ago but have never used it. It is in good condition been stored inside, looks like it has only had one coat of paint on it from new so not to hard to clean down.

2 Corner Bits are 36 ins high 12 ins bottom edges.
2 Flat centre bits 36 ins high 16 ins across bottom edge.
1 Flat end bit 36 ins high 8 1/2 ins across bottom edge.
1 3 way centre post 40 ins high 7 ins across bottom edge.
3 angle stair poles 36 ins to top tip 8 ins across bottom edge.
2 Angle stair poles 34 1/4 ins to top tip 8 ins across bottom edge.

Friday, September 19, 2008

email updates from Dad

Dad has been making progress at Amherst, see updates below. Thank goodness we have his help, it would be impossible otherwise.

September 17th:

Hi, I have just returned from a day to Amherst to meet with the building inspector dealing with the application for a permit. I met with him for about one hour, but had to get there and back the same day. I took a large load up of wrought iron balustrading, pinepoles for the gazebo, and wrought iron posts to use as needed, or to access material for completing other tasks. I got another load of wood to finish my winter. I will work tomorrow on the stumps and stirrups of my back veranda. I had two days together to do work here, but the inspector could only fit in with Mon, Weds, or Friday, so I took time to meet with him. I have to do some additional drawing of details of the Juliet balcony over the bathroom of the old house. The present plan shows that posts to the ground and footing is the support mechanism, but I made it clear to the draftsman that cantilever beams would support this. I will draw an addenda detail asap and send to you and the council. I am too tired now to tell you all he wants, but will send an email tomorrow morning with greater detail.

September 6th:

I returned home from Amherst at 7pm, to a small party for my Father's day. Pete brought his new girlfriend, and Jenny had been there visiting with Vida since 6pm. I had a great conference with the plumber, who used to come as small lad to your paddock to hunt rabbits when it was Fisher's Poultry farm. I will hear back from him soon as to the cost of a 3000 litre septic with effluence drainage fields. He feels it will be best to proceed directly with Septech though because of the cost, probably near $5000 depending on what specifications John Kelly the health officer requires for the length of the effluence field. But he is going to be the plumber of choice I think for the rest of the old house plumbing. I will explain later in greater detail. I am off to church now so must hurry for now.

September 1st:

I will tell you now of my plan to continue to build the hobbithole, but instead to make it an actual chicken house in the short-term. I like chickens, and it will do it no harm in the course of the construction of the house over a long time for it to be used primarily as a chicken house. So I will continue to dream and use bits and pieces that come to hand to create the dream. Dave said when we spoke of it that this was alright, and after consideration I think it proper to proceed when I feel like it after my work here in Ringwood is completed.

August 29th:

I have completed the roof of the shed except for some ridge capping and spouting and drainage. There has not been anymore rain so transfer is not needed to the upper tanks. I still need to contact the plumber and electrician. I will place the drip system into action for the citrus trees in the orchard when things start to dry. There has been showering rain there it seems.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Edna Walling's "Bickleigh Vale"

A few years back when researching herbaceous borders, I wrote about Edna Walling, an Australian garden designer from the 1920-50's who was like Australia's version of Gertrude Jekyll. (See here and scroll down about halfway for the section about Edna)

Well, there was an 8 minute feature about her on last week's "Gardening Australia" TV show that Mum kindly told me about, and you can watch it for free on the ABC website here: Link to ABC website

Because I'm not sure how long the ABC will leave it accessible, I also created my own copy that you can access below. Please try watching at the ABC link first though: not only will you be able to view it all in one go, it'll help to save my bandwidth allowance! :-) Plus they have lots of other good stuff that you can browse while you're there...

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4: