13th December 2013

Out with the old in with the new

Eaglemont house has been brought back from the brink in stunning style. Its art collector owners wanted a true gallery perspective and have been rewarded in dramatic style. A highly considered design and a free-flowing program of Viridian performance glass overcomes some truly mad-hatter eccentricities.  Eaglemont-House-Front-Slice Large houses tend to be politically incorrect but every so often the large house, the mansion, restores belief that quality and quantity can co-exist under the one roof. Every building designer loves the idea of the grassy knoll. This project had no such luck.  Vibe Design Group faced the harsh reality of dealing with a latter day Gone With The Wind knock-off. Confronting, let alone digesting, such mistakes were daunting. Vibe decided to run with a more sustainable approach that retained just enough of the errant original.  “We returned to that era that paid such attention to exceptional detail. We established that reference right from the start that this should be an older building type that would balance the modern building we introduced. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process but we were very mindful that it could have quite easily been a disaster,” Michael O’Sullivan of the Vibe Design Group.  The abandoned residence presented 70 sq. of non-functional spaces that included indoor pool and spa. Lacking proportion and elegance, and without regard for energy efficiency.  Eaglemont-House-Entrance “Glass is a big part of this building. Normally in a structure like this you wouldn’t see it as the key whereas here it is crucial. Typically the grand home is quite enclosed. This demonstrates some pretty exuberant glazing. We put a lot of effort into this to ensure we took advantage of the technology and materials."  Loving the site but not the house, the new owners – a young family with a plan to build their dream home & both avid collectors of Aboriginal art – wanted an exhibition space and a house of classical scale and proportions. Improvisations included a vigorous and appropriate use of glass to amplify and modulate the opportunity.  “We wanted to help display the clients’ amazing art work and so the window treatment is much more gallery-like and emphatic. Materials play quite a big part in the way that the house feels so cohesive. Glass helps open up areas and make them more legible and that is evident throughout, especially in the gallery space.”  Eaglemont-House-Entrance-1 Michael O’Sullivan of the Vibe Design Group spoke with Vision editor Peter Hyatt about his firm’s work in re-building a derelict mansion into a modern day classic. To download the full article and read the conversation click here.  Register your email address (above right) to receive email notifications for future GlassTalks articles – or visit http://viridianglass.com/evision/Pages/default.aspx to sign up to our monthly E-Vision bulletin. Photography Peter Hyatt & Jennifer Hyatt