Fairhaven Pole House

Fairhaven Pole House

Fairhaven Pole HouseThe Pole House at Fairhaven Beach is the most photographed house on the Great Ocean Road, and probably Australia!

Suspended 40 metres above Fairhaven Beach, the Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic homes. The vision of architect and engineer Frank Dixon, the pedestal house, completed in 1978, juts out from the cliff side, giving it a spectacular right-on-ocean feel.

An ode to all things '70s, classic touches include Berber carpeted walls and orange bubble reading lamps. Featuring a bedroom area, bathroom, kitchen and sitting area with a walkway connecting to solid ground, it's a perfect retreat for couples.

Sleeps 4. Features include: views, wood fire.
Overnight stays available - Mon. to Thurs. LINEN PROVIDED

* Sensational views from every angle
* The Pole House has a queen bed and bathroom.
* Lounge area has open fire, LCD TV, DVD and sound system.
* At the end of the walkway there is a 2nd Bedroom with queen bed and separate bathroom.

New house to take pole position

ONE of the Great Ocean Road's most photographed attractions is about to be demolished . The 1970s pole house at Fairhaven is to be torn down, but it will be replaced by an architect-designed house on top of the 15-metre platform.

The new house will feature retractable floor-to-ceiling windows, a perimeter walkway with a glassed balustrade, and a floating fireplace in the living area. It is due to be completed before Christmas and is likely to be put back on the holiday rental market.

The tiny house (8x8 metres) will include a bedroom with queen-size bed, bathroom and kitchenette.

'' I have always thought it is a cute '70s love shack with Berber carpet on the walls and original orange bubble lights,'' said owner Kathi Adams.

But the original house has drawbacks. None of the windows open, so it gets hot and stuffy in summer, people sitting at the old fireplace have their back to the view, and Ms Adams wants to improve wheelchair access for her husband , Roger.

The couple bought the house in 2005 for $1.75 million but won't disclose the renovation cost, which will also includea two-storey , threebedroom house on the land behind the pole house.

'' The demolition should start within a month,'' Ms Adams said. '' Most of it will be done by hand because we can't reach the house with cranes or machinery.''

The house fetches $550 a night in high season.

The original pole house was built in 1978 by engineer and architect Frank Dixon, who came up with the idea of a house on a concrete pole while he was recovering from a surfing accident.

The Age - 5-6-2012

The house on a pole to be replaced by...

a house on a pole

Architect Frank Dixon, who designed and built one of the Great Ocean Road's most-photographed attractions, the Fairhaven pole house, is '' sad'' but resigned it will be torn down this week.

The house built by Mr Dixon in the 1970s on top of a 15-metre concrete pole has commanding 360-degree views of one of the state's most popular stretches of coastline.

The tiny eight-metre by eightmetre timber structure will be replaced by a similar-sized , architect-designed , steel-clad house on the same platform.

'' In many ways it is a sad thing. I've got used to the idea of losing it now, but initially I was fairly concerned ,'' Mr Dixon said.

Pole house owner Kathi Adams told The Age last year the new home will feature retractable floorto-ceiling windows, a perimeter walkway with a glassed balustrade, and a floating fireplace in the living area.

The original house had drawbacks : none of the windows opened, making it hot and stuffy in summer and occupants sitting at the old fireplace had their back to the view, Ms Adams said.

Another two-storey , three bedroom dwelling will be built on the cliff-top behind.

But the Dixon family, who sold the holiday home in 2005 for $1.75 million, have objected to the pole house's destruction.

The family lodged an interim protection order against the demolition with Victoria's Heritage Council last July and applied to have the home put on the state heritage list.

An expert witness at the December hearing, architect Nigel Lewis, suggested there was '' clear evidence'' the home fitted the list's criteria.

'' The Dixon pole house is one of the most striking and unusual examples of an 'experimental house' which takes risks and which may serve as a design prototype,'' Mr Lewis said.

'' The design of a dwelling on a pole is unique in Victoria, and rare elsewhere,'' he said.

But the Heritage Council rejected the application, saying it was '' not of importance above a local level"and should be included by the local Surf Coast Council in its heritage overlay.

Ms Adams declined to comment on the controversy.

Surf Coast CEO Stephen Wall said the rebuilding work would retain the pole structure, walkway and silhouette of the house.

Mr Dixon, who turns 90 on Australia Day, said: '' My family did the best they could to try and preserve it and failed.

'' The heritage panel in their wisdom decided it was not good enough to preserve.''

While the house is unlikely to survive demolition, it has outlasted three bushfires, including the infamous 1983 Ash Wednesday blaze which razed many coastal homes in the area.

'' It was designed with bushfires very much in mind,'' Mr Dixon said.

As a rental property, it fetches $550 a night in high season.

And while popular with tourists, '' there's a proportion of locals who would be very glad to see it go,'' Mr Dixon said.

'' They considered it an eyesore, a blight on the neighbourhood. My personal attitude is that it makes the district more attractive.''

Mr Dixon, who conceived the house while recovering from a surfing accident, said it always attracted interest from passers-by .

'' Even at 2 o'clock in the morning they'd walk around the balcony on the outside and make comments that wouldn't be printable.

'' We heard the whole lot, of course,'' he said.

Property Editor for The Age - 23-1-2013

* Rumour File on 3AW reported the house would be demolished on Wednesday 23rd January 2013, but the pole would remain. A new house will be erected on the existing pole.

* Note: This article used to be titled Pole House, but we noted more and more publications refer to it as Fairhaven Pole House.

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Fairhaven Pole House 



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