Architect Graham Birchall, who designed The Bubble House in Ipswich with his wife Sharon. Pic Peter WallisIT’S hard to find a naughty corner in a round house, even with 140,000 people looking.When the Bubble House of Ipswich, with its series of 11 connected domes, became one of Australia’s most viewed properties on the market this year, it put quirky homes in the spotlight, and challenged homebuyers to think outside the square.6 Autrey Court in suburban Stafford Heights has its own squash court. Picture: John Gass“A home is about the people and what makes them comfortable,” First National Ipswich estate agent Helene Shephard said.For Queensland architect Graham Birchall that has meant building a house out of concrete domes to support his university thesis on the building technique.“I like them because they are so pure, there’s no hard joins,” Mr Birchall said. “They’re good for storm water, water just rolls off; there are no gutters and they’re very spacious; up here there’s no ceiling under 4m.”Construction of 79 Elanora Way, Karalee, began in 1983 and took 10 years with Mr Birchall and his father-in-law Ed Bohl devoting every weekend to the job with a little maths help from some of the state’s brightest academic minds. NASA also was approached for inspiration to design aperture window coverings in the cantilever bathrooms that hang off larger domes, and plans to the Mars Rover arrived by post in case they were useful.“They ended up not helping but it was good to get them,” Mr Birchall’s wife, Sharon, said.The bubble house is one of only seven in the world and when it went on sale last month, an international frenzy was created that stretched from Vanuatu to Paris, with Ms Shephard receiving 100 calls a day in two weeks.MORE Cool properties on the market in North Queensland right nowStar of The Kissing Booth Jacob Elordi buys in Byron Hinterland for $2mOlympic Golden Girl Susie O’Neill sells home for $3.055m“It’s only because of its uniqueness that it’s attracted such an intense amount of interest,” she said. “Other than that it’s really no different to any other campaign – you still have to find the right buyer.”Curiosity should never be dismissed when selling quirky properties, Ray White Ascot’s Ian Cuneo said.“It’s fine to come to have a look, even if you’re not intending to buy the property,” Mr Cuneo said. “I sold a two-bedroom house to a lady who wanted a six-bedroom home and afterwards I said, ‘Why?’ and she said, ‘I really liked the butterfly stairs’. And she just renovated after that. Never in my wildest dreams would I have rung her up (about the property) but she just fell in love with the interiors.”In the north Brisbane suburb of Stafford Heights, a five level home at 6 Autry Court has been listed for sale with an indoor squash court, although during the COVID-19 lockdown, it did become a glorified play gym for owner Aeron Lin’s toddler. “We had four rooms on rotation during the lockdown and when we’d had enough of one room, we’d go to another. There’s lots of space in this house.”There’s also a resort style 180,000 litre heated saltwater swimming pool, a floodlit championship size synthetic grass tennis court and an indoor/outdoor Feng Shui-style fish pond to give the 2039sq m block positive chi.Chris Ball climbing on his rock-climbing wall at home. Photo: Mark Cranitch.Across the river, Chris Ball is selling his Yeronga home at 22 Ellesmere Street that has a 5m high indoor boulder wall in the void facing the kitchen.“When we renovated, the architect asked what was on our top 10 list,” Mr Ball said.“The climbing wall sat at number three, behind the new master bedroom and the new kitchen downstairs. We climb socially and it didn’t really take much convincing for us to decide to put one in.”The bulk of the wall is on a 30 degree angle while a lower portion is on a more gentle 15 degree angle where the kids’ holes are.On the Sunshine Coast, Keith Murray has taken four historic train carriages and converted them into an eco-sanctuary at the bottom of Mount Tibrogargan in the Glass House Mountains where he has lived since 1982.The 1.72ha property at 198 Barrs Road, Glass House Mountains, includes the 130-year-old Wivenhoe Pocket Presbyterian Church which took seven hours to transport to the new site and more than two years to assemble into a family home. Whoever buys the property will also inherit a boutique coffee plantation.Coffee can also be found in one of the most unique properties to hit the market in Queensland, this one is in Tropical North Queensland.Peter Marshall’s home is just 15 minutes from the shopping mall but in the wet season, 30 cubic metres of water a second can roar past his house on the edge of a waterfall, and there’s a free skyrail that can drop him a two-minute walk from his front door.Barron Falls Estate is an almost 66ha site at the top of the Atherton Tablelands, with part of the land accessed by operators of the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway which ferries tourists and locals from Kuranda to Cairns. The site also includes 50,000 coffee trees.QUIRKS ARE PERKSThe Bubble House. Pic Peter Wallis1. The Bubble House79 Elanora Way, KaraleePrice: $1.7 millionQuirky feature: A house made completely out of concrete domes.1015 Kennedy Highway, Kuranda2. Barron Falls Estate1015 Kennedy Highway, KurandaPrice: Contact agentQuirky feature: Live beside a waterfall with a skyrail that drops you to your front door.Melanie Blin and Hugh Dao of Jensen Property play some squash at 6 Autry Court, Stafford heights. Picture, John Gass3 6 Autry Court, Stafford HeightsPrice: Offers over $3 millionQuirky feature: Indoor squash court.22 Ellesmere St, Yeronga.4. 22 Ellesmere St, YerongaPrice: Offers over $989,000Quirky feature: Internal boulder wall facing the living and kitchen areas.507 Stafford Road, Stafford.5. 507 Stafford Rd, StaffordPrice: Contact agentMore from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus8 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market8 hours agoQuirky feature: 1950s converted church with curved roof trusses, Silky Oak walls and leadlight windows.198 Barrs Rd, Glass House Mountains6. 198 Barrs Rd, Glass House MountainsPrice: $1.6 million-$1.8 millionQuirky feature: Four historic train carriages including a diving carriage and a Victorian-Era first-class carriage have been converted into self-contained accommodation with kitchen, bedroom, a library and lounge.10 Aminya Street, Coochiemudlo Island.7. The Quirky Cottage — Holy Cow10 Aminya St, Coochiemudlo IslandPrice: $265,000Quirky feature: A former holiday rental that comes with its own custom-made cow-themed interiors so you can ‘moo-ve’ right in.Knells111 Moray Street, New Farm8.111 Moray Street, New FarmPrice: Contact agentQuirky feature: The dormers or roof windows of this Hansel and Gretel-inspired Old English manor.455 Gregory Tce, Spring Hill.9. Carrington Manor445 Gregory Tce Price: Offers over $3.2 millionQuirky feature: A preserved 1930s art deco building with ornate horse hair plaster ceiling on the top level.563 Royal Esplanade, Manly10. 563 Royal Esplanade, ManlyPrice: Best offers around $1.7 millionQuirky feature: Use of billboards and raw building materials throughout the home including the staircase that spirals around the trunk of a tree.
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