Cleverly concealed behind a modern facade, the inner sanctum of this renovated property in Victoria hides a waterscape of localised and sustainable intention that delivers an unexpected urban oasis.
Upon first impression, it is hard to imagine the hidden secrets contained behind this development’s wonderfully modest entrance. A beautifully restored period home, with cleverly designed modern extensions, this structure reveals a hidden gem of an internal courtyard as the main living area opens out into a billabong-style pool.
A distinct lack of grass coupled with swamp-grade timber decking sets the tone for the localised and sustainable intentions of this unique waterscape, but it is the use of rock and water that sets the space apart from the norm.
Working closely with builder Joe Hastie of Green World Projects and landscape designer Nicole Taylor of Down Town Interiors/Exteriors, the team at Waterscapes Australia began construction on the internal waterscape prior to the dwelling’s construction. Due to the logistics of the site’s internal nature, sixty tons of locally sourced boulder used to create the natural billabong was navigated onto the site via a narrow laneway.
Location and orientation were crucial to the installation of the waterscape. Moving with the seasons, the pool would be utilised for swimming in the hotter months but needed to remain aesthetically pleasing during the longer cool periods in Melbourne. The limitation of space on the site also brought a few challenges. Water storage tanks were incorporated into the retaining of the terraform and hidden beneath the billabong’s overhanging deck, which also concealed the pump housing and skimmer, providing needed storage without having to compromise surface area.
Utilising the Aquascape system from Aquascape Supplies Australia, the pool is recirculated through an upflow wetland filter. Planted out heavily with native aquatics, the excess nutrient load is firstly transformed by a teeming colony of naturally occurring beneficial bacteria and then taking up by the plants above.
Along with water jets throughout the main body of water for circulation and the directing of fallen leaf and debris to the Aquascape skimmer, the billabong’s crystal clear water is maintained year round without the use of nasty chemicals or additives. The comparisons to a chlorinated or salt water pool are miles apart.
Maintenance costs are lowered and the experience is akin to a dip in a naturally occurring rainforest water course. No stinging eyes or skin, just the sensation of refreshment and lingering fulfilment. It is hard to see why in this day and age, fresh water pools would not be the norm.
Beyond Waterscapes Australia’s part in the project, Joe and Nicole have seamlessly tied the property from front to back. Plant selection and material choice all provided texture and colour that feeds from one to another to create a city oasis of peacefulness and productivity.
Landscape Design | Down Town Interiors/Exteriors
Billabong Design and Construction | Waterscapes Australia Pty Ltd, www.waterscapesaustralia.com.au
Water feature Equipment | Aquascape Supplies Australia, www.aquascapesupplies.com.au