Tamarama House Standing the test of time
Perched high on a headland overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this home crowns a clifftop in Sydney’s seaside suburb of Tamarama. The sparkling setting is flanked by the famous foreshore and the house basks in strong Australian sunshine and sea breezes year round. Forest Building was tasked with returning the house to its former glory of more than 20 years ago.
But what started as a “freshen up”, explains Anthony of Forest Building, quickly evolved into a much larger renovation. The salt-ravaged elements and extensive damage from the corrosive locale needed to be replaced, as did the abode’s four bathrooms. Being a waterfront property, the home bears the brunt of extreme environmental conditions, inside and out: the client’s televisions last only six months, the builders’ tools were damaged after just five months, the power points show constant signs of corrosion, and the hand rails are always wet from surf mist.
The ambitious redesign departs from standard practices, so creative solutions and a custom approach were needed to achieve the design brief. This proved pertinent when renovating the home’s four bathrooms, which required the same matching buttons throughout, despite using standard in-wall concealed cisterns as well as undercounter concealed cisterns.
“It’s harsh conditions, this close, it’s virtually 50 metres to the water’s edge. It needs good materials; it needs good cisterns.“ Phil Mueller, Forest Building
While renovating the bathrooms, the builders uncovered original Geberit concealed cisterns in perfect working order, which had been in use for over 20 years. Not only had they excelled the test of time, the HDPE cisterns had also outlasted many of the home’s other fixtures, fittings and materials. For Anthony who oversaw this prominent project, the decision to specify new Geberit concealed cisterns in all four bathrooms was absolute. The product had proven its durability and Geberit’s flexible design solutions were pivotal to the success of this build. Throughout the complexities of the project, the building and plumbing teams also received outstanding ongoing installation support from Geberit.
The Geberit concealed cisterns have saved space in each bathroom and enhanced their clean, contemporary aesthetic. Due to the HDPE tanks’ impact resistance and innovative one-piece blow moulded technology, the concealed cisterns are leakproof, ensuring they will last generations, just like their predecessors. When asked whether there was any resistance from the trades team surrounding the concealed cisterns, Phil’s reply is emphatic: “No, not at all. The plumber actually pointed out how easy it is to install because of the frame, for example, and the accessibility. It’s sensational,” he says. “Being from Switzerland, I know the standards - I have absolutely every confidence in the product. It will last.“
“If I have the option of choosing a cistern, I will always choose Geberit. Sometimes I don’t get that option and that’s when I’ve had problems in the past. I’ve never had any issues with Geberit cisterns. If I’m burying something in the wall and it’s full of water, I want to have confidence that it isn’t going to sprout a leak and give me grief in a year, two years. These Geberit cisterns have been in this house for 20 years and there’s no issue with them. With the harsh conditions, we want the best products in here; we want to know that we’ve got the reliability of whatever we put in - that it is going to survive.” Anthony Arena, Forest Building