Welcome to The Pole House. Widely known as the most photographed house on the Great Ocean Road, and probably Australia!
Suspended 40 meters above Fairhaven Beach, the Pole House is one of Australia's most iconic homes. Recently renovated, The Pole House now adds a luxurious modern setting to a holiday experience like no other. Whilst carefully planned and crafted, The Pole House is not about accommodation, nor is it about facilities or amenities, of which it has many, The Pole House is about the experience. Picture yourself waking to the sound of crashing waves, opening your eyes to find yourself suspended above the most spectacular coastline in the country. The Pole House is adventure, so take yourself to the edge and indulge in one of the most unique, iconic and awe inspiring destinations. Sea you there.....
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PLEASE NOTE: this property is NOT suitable for children.
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It is rare someone writes a book good enough for it to enter the literary canon and be enjoyed by successive generations. Decades pass between the composition of one great symphony and another. Its just as infrequent that an architect designs and builds a house that becomes iconic, even famous. In Australia there is the Rose Seidler House, built in NSW in 1950 by Harry Seidler; The Walsh Street house, built in 1958 by Robin Boyd; Grounds House, built in Victoria by Roy Grounds; the Philip Island House, completed in the late eighties by Barrie Marshall; Gottlieb house by Wood Marsh; Kempsey House designed by Glenn Murcutt; and Castlecrag House, in NSW, the work of Hugh Buhrich. One quickly comes to the end of the list. The avant garde is not so rare. Neither is the excellent. But the avant-garde and excellent together is achieved so seldom we can hold the names of these select few in our heads.
The Pole House at Fairhaven was built by Frank Dixon and instantly became a landmark, a manmade natural attraction, a concrete apostle, a sentinel guarding the eastern gate to The Great Ocean Road. It was built by the ancients in the seventies, a time before computers and ring roads when the coast was a rumor, and it became a totem in a far place.
Children in cars heading down the coast held competitions to see who could spot it first. It became such a shared part of the landscape people stopped to take photos, and as you stand on its balcony with a drink in your hand people wave from passing cars and toot their horns as if you hold some honorary position. Its current owners call this being anonymously famous.
Driving past the Pole House these last thirty-odd years Id always wondered what it would be like looking down from the inside out across the sea. It turns out to be one of those rare experiences that exceed expectations like Paris or the Great Barrier Reef.
The house has just been redesigned by Franco Fiorentini from F2 Architecture and is a brilliant new statue on an already famous pedestal. The first feeling one has at the Pole House is a vertiginous thrill based on altitude and distance, as if you are Leonardo DiCaprio leaning high out over the water off the front of a mighty ship as it cuts through rolling swell. Apprehension and awe mingle as the house sways gently. You are both airborne and seaborne, having left land, and the very Earth, behind. Youre also brought face-to-face with the paucity of you own language as you keep repeating the same hackneyed phrases over and over. Wow. I cant believe this. Wow.
The house is a blaze of architectural brio. The taps have lights hidden in their mouths shining down along the bubbling paths of falling water, and alongside each light a diode, so when the water is cold it is blue, as the temperature rises to warm it turns purple and by the time the water is hot it is bright red. The couches recline and stretch at button-press. Blinds covering two whole walls rise at the press of another button, uncovering half the world. Wave your hand near a set of light switches and they glow and tell you whats on and whats not. The main room curves around a central bathroom pod clad in burnt ash panels. In front of the floor-to-ceiling window a suspended fireplace hangs from its own chimney essentially a fire burning in a cold sea. The floor is a dark stone the Medicis might have trod.
For all this, architectural features really have no significant place in the wonder of this house. Its defining and beguiling feature is that the sea and sky are in the room. The rumbling surf and two hundred degrees of ocean with a vast superstructure of cloud overhead. The mood of the house is set by the mood of these elements. Subservient to a constantly changing pageant of light, cloud, wave and colour.
Dramatic reefs of fire to the west as the sun goes down, while in the East saturated purples fall to night. The closer you are to the sky the more its intricacies are laid bare. You soon understand this room might hold a thousand different sunsets. Another thousand dawns. In here, as part of the sea and sky, each day will be an entity set apart from those before and to come.
The land is a lesser, peripheral, presence. But you could study it all day from up here. Fifty kilometres of coast. From the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet the Great Ocean Road rides a rollercoaster of hills through the forests of The Otways to and beyond Lorne. The hills ripple and fold with the passing sun.
Like no other house on the shipwreck coast you have the feeling you are perched on the edge of a vast unknown. Its a rare sensation. You get it at Treetops Hotel in Kenya at the edge of the immense Aberdare National Park. And at El Questro Station, sitting clifftop with the infinite Kimberly laid out below. At the Pole House you are at a frontier, the edge of the world you know and the beginning of some other exotic sphere. Its a mood, a portal to another place Antarctica or ease somewhere further away than you were expecting.
1 Car Spaces
The most photographed house on the Great Ocean Road!