A one-of-a-kind property dubbed the Bubble House has hit the market for the very first time, drawing interest from across the country and around the world.
The home in Karalee, Ipswich, has grabbed the attention of buyers from as far afield as France since it was listed for expressions of interest on Monday.
More than 30 years in the making, the property spans 11 domes – each from four to eight metres wide – and looks more like a space station than a Queensland family home.
Architect Graham Birchall and his wife, Sharon, started building the property in 1983, two years after Mr Birchall used the bubble house idea for his thesis for his architecture degree in Brisbane.
The couple gradually created the home over 30 years, undertaking major renovations in the late 2000s and even emailing NASA to use their designs on their window shades, the pair previously told Domain. Now they’re selling up their much-loved family home to make a sea change.
While unique in shape, the riverfront property has all the usual homely features with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a four-car garage and workshop, and a round kitchen – designed by a boat builder and carpenter to get all the curves.
It also includes an office, a media room, library, bar and wine cellar – again all round, of course – as well a glass entry tunnel to welcome you into the home, multiple terraces and a golf tee.
“When you walk in, it changes the way you feel,” selling agent Helene Shephard of First National Real Estate Action Realty Ipswich said. “It has this energy that just calms you and you can have a lot of people in the home without even realising it.”
In total the home offers a whopping 1050 square metres of floor space and sits on a 5109-square-metre block about a 40-minute drive from the CBD.
Ms Shephard said she had been inundated with local, national and international interest in the home since Monday.
She’s had many calls from excited architecture buffs asking about the light throughout the property, the form and the function, and also locals who have long hoped to take a peek inside the local landmark.
“I’ve had a lot of local inquiry, from people asking, ‘Can we bring my mum, dad and the kids, I drove past that house every time I was in Karalee … and we’ve always dreamed of seeing inside’.”
Unfortunately, Ms Shephard said, she’s had to shatter their dreams, with the home – still a workplace for the owners – only open for private inspections with serious buyers.
While properties of its size and location typically sell for more than $1 million, Ms Shephard was reluctant to put a price tag on the unique home.
“Graham and his family are looking for the right buyer who will appreciate everything they are gifting on,” Ms Shephard said.
“It’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [for buyers], and for me too to find a buyer,” she added. “It will be somebody who wants to live in an environment that stimulates them and is creative.”
Although unusual homes can often take some time to sell, Ms Shephard does not think that should be an issue here.
And when they find a buyer, they’ll be sure to celebrate with some bubbles.