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.
The astronaut set the U.S. record for continuous space flight by spending 215 days in orbit, and set another U.S. record – 10 space walks over his career. The capsule raced down to Earth after separating from the two other sections of the Soyuz TMA-9 craft following its departure from the station, where one of the final tasks the travelers performed was to move containers with biological experiments from refrigerators on the station into the Soyuz. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! He then bit enthusiastically into a green apple – a traditional offering for space crews touching down in Kazakhstan, which is famous for the tasty fruit. Asked about his first impressions back on Earth, a smiling Simonyi said in Russian, “The sun is shining, the weather is good,” in footage broadcast on state television. Simonyi had studied Russian in school in his native Hungary and took another language course in preparation for the flight. Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin looked pale and tired, but soon managed a smile in a video link with Mission Control. “The first thing I felt on Earth was the smell,” he told the television network. Spanish-born U.S. astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, the last out of the capsule, sighed with relief, smiled and talked to the support crew as doctors monitored the men’s vital signs. KOROLYOV, Russia – An American billionaire who won a junior cosmonaut contest as a child returned Saturday from a dream voyage to the International Space Station, riding a Russian capsule to a soft landing on the Kazakh steppe Charles Simonyi, a 58-year-old native of Hungary who helped design Microsoft Word and Excel, smiled and chatted with rescuers who helped him gingerly out of the Soyuz capsule and appeared energized by his $25 million, two-week trip. The capsule carrying the space tourist, a Russian cosmonaut and a U.S. astronaut touched down after a more than three-hour return trip from the orbital station. Simonyi looked delighted after rescuers helped him from the rounded capsule, which lay askew on the bleak grassland, and into a chair covered with fur for warmth. He smiled, grinned broadly and spoke animatedly with members of a support crew who greeted him with hugs and handshakes.
Frank McBrearty is loving life at Raphoe Town FC – and says its the perfect release from the daily grind of political life. The outspoken and at times controversial public representative is the manager of Donegal Junior League outfit Raphoe Town.McBrearty was a talented sportsman in his teenage years, and was a brilliant boxer and excellent footballer. He played for Kildrum Tigers, Raphoe Town, and Finn Harps reserves, but he left Donegal in the mid 80’s to work in the UK.In London, he played for a number of top junior clubs in the region and has always shared a deep love and passion for football.However, he has now entered the managerial arena – his first gig in senior football, and says he’s relishing the challenge of propelling Raphoe into the Donegal Premier Division. McBrearty has assembled a talented squad that has a good blend of youth and experience, and feels that he could have a team capable of playing Intermediate football in the next couple of years.McBrearty told Donegal Daily, “It’s a great release from politics, it’s a difficult and stressful job, so I’m enjoying the new role.“I coached Raphoe U14’s and U16’s and Drumkeen United in the Donegal Youth League a number of years ago, but this is my first role in senior football.“I was approached by a number of players to take over at Raphoe, and I had worked with a lot of them at underage level, and I was happy to take them up on their offer.“We’ve had a good pre-season and we beat Drumoghill and Lagan Harps, and while we lost our opening league game away to Gweedore Celtic, it’s been an encouraging start.”McBrearty has his own son Frankie marshalling operations in the middle of the park, and the talented midfielder brings bags of experience to the Raphoe side. Frankie Jnr spent a year in Iceland, and was close to signing for Sheffield Wednesday as a teenager – only to see the move fall through at the last minute.He was an integral part of Peter Moran’s Bonagee United team, and is a key player for Raphoe Town.However, McBrearty says he’s got a side stacked with quality and experience and says the depth in his squad gives him confidence that his side can gain promotion.“Frankie has obviously operated at a high level in the past, but Ryan McCullagh is a huge player for us, he’s a top class player and again is vastly experienced at Intermediate level. “We’ve got David Craig who won an USL title at Kildrum, and we’ve also got Jamie Gallagher and Christy Bogle at are disposal who are brilliant players.“But look, it’s a tough, tough league, the two Gweedore sides are going to be hard to beat, Cappry are looking to bounce straight back up, Keadue are a physical side with good players and Donegal Town are also a difficult proposition, so it’s not going to be easy.“The attitude of the players has been first class, training has been excellent, and if the players continue to apply themselves, then we’ll be OK, I’m confident we can get promotion into the Donegal Premier Division.McBrearty says the addition of Shane Dolan to his backroom team as assistant manager has been a massive help to him – and also said he’s been extremely encouraged by the amount of talented young players coming through the youth set-up into his senior side.McBrearty said, “Shane Dolan is my assistant and he’s been a great help to me, he had a fine career in the Donegal League and brings a vast amount of experience to the project.“He’s knows the league inside out and the two of us compliment each other well, and both bring an array of experience and knowledge to the side.“One of the most pleasing aspects for me so far, is how well some of the young lads have performed – they’ve made the transition from youth football into the senior set-up seamlessly and it’s great to see the club producing so many top, top young players.”McBrearty’s side face Deele Harps in a local derby this weekend, and he’s expecting a feisty clash, but hopes his players can focus on their football.“Discipline is a hugely important thing for me as a manager, I don’t tolerate a lack of discipline, when I was boxer if you abused the referee you could be suspended for a year and rightly so.“I won’t accept any of my players getting involved with referees, it’s not on.“Sunday’s game will be tough, it’s a derby and it’s going to be feisty, it’s what you would expect in a derby clash, but I’m hoping my lads keep their heads and focus on playing football, that’s the one thing they can control, and if they do that they hopefully we can get a positive result.”It’s early days under the tenure of McBrearty at Raphoe, but there is an air of optimism around the club that they’re heading in the right trajectory and are making progressive steps in pushing themselves on as a club, and with the charismatic and experienced McBrearty at the helm he may be the man to lead them back to the Donegal Premier Division.Football the perfect release from politics for Frank McBrearty was last modified: September 14th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Frank McBreartyManagerialnewsPoliticsRaphoe Town FCSport