Designer Semi -Tropical Vastu Home

Dr Lee Fergusson and Dr Anna Bonshek have completed their unique Vastu home located on the outskirts of the Australian Gold Coast in Queensland. The following article has been written by Lee and Anna and gives a wonderful insight into the joys and benefits of building in accordance with Maharishi Vedic Architecture. “Finishing our Maharishi Vastu house has been a great fulfillment for us. We bought the land several years ago, attracted by the classic Australian semi-tropical rainforest, gum trees, and protected species of native orchids, tree ferns and grass trees everywhere. Our house and annex sit in two hectares of forest, with the beautiful influence of over one hundred species of birds, including the king parrot, galas, kookaburras and indigenous local birds. We took on a challenge, honouring and preserving the natural environment. It took two years to design the four-bedroom house (right down to every minute detail) and the adjacent annex—combining a studio, office, bathroom, workshop, breezeway and three-car garage. The design and build drew loosely on an Asian aesthetic, with a simple, elegant appeal. But from the start we could see this was going to be more than just a house. The project encompassed a large-scale rural residential development, involving about 15 contracts for tree-clearing, habitat management, earthworks, rock retaining walls, driveway, swimming pool, perimeter fencing, annex construction and fit out, landscaping, all independent of the main building contract. Being a creative producer, and with Lee’s background also in the arts, we were very particular about what we wanted. It was exciting to design the entire house down to the last detail, including our front doors, the porch feature balustrade, the kitchen cabinetry. We selected everything—fixtures, lighting, glass block panel—and even got involved in many of the actual construction processes ourselves. For example, we built the annex patio, Vastu fence and gates, and other structures. We were extremely fortunate to have worked with award-winning architect Warren Webb of Webb and Associates, a well-established architect on the Gold Coast who has worked internationally to help design the house; Warren’s vision was very sympathetic to our own. His expertise, insight and advice meant that all the special elements that make the house unique could be seamlessly built into our plans. This proved to be crucial when it came to the build. The house has a high-key, transparent feeling with light penetrating at every angle. It is pristine and modern, but evokes timelessness and grandeur. Finding a builder took a while. But all in good time we found Joey Hart of Kirra Homes Pty Ltd who facilitated what can only be described as a collaborative process. This suited us, as we wanted to be involved at every critical juncture to ensure that the important Vedic features were spot on. The quality and finish of the house is second to none. Joey’s team worked with us at each stage of the build, and his foreman was great: allowing us to check every detail as construction progressed, including working with us on the layout of the house using traditional “string” or sutragrahin technology. There is no doubt that building a Maharishi Vastu house requires attention and commitment, but the reward is beyond quantification. When our friends joined us on our moving in day, the feeling was sublime; not only were we blessed to have Sri Gangadharan conduct the Vedic ceremonies, we also realised that our modest home was like a celestial palace and the feeling since moving in has continued. On one level it is an art installation or sculptural form—a sculptural form aligned to the celestial sphere—which we happily inhabit. Everywhere there are portals to view and revel in nature. The open-plan design allows free air and light flow, vital in our tropical climate. We have wide eaves that protect from the summer sun and the wet season’s heavy rains, and a beautiful clerestory (towering above the central Brahmasthan), which, through clear plate and slatted windows, brings in beams of light and rainbows at various times of day. The respect our build team gave to defining and capturing all the Vastu elements, for example the masonry plinth and room layout, was so impressive. We were very thankful for their efforts and came to feel great camaraderie with everyone—from the carpenters, to the renderers, cabinetmakers, painters, tilers, plasterers (who created a perfect, square set finish to the interior, giving the house it’s sleek, crisp look), and all the trades. Everyone wanted to express their creativity in some way. The house and annex also have many eco-friendly features, including the capture of all rainwater for reuse after filtration, onsite wastewater treatment which is used on gardens, and onsite solid carbonaceous waste treatment and composting. The house and annex are also powered by both solar electricity and solar hot water, with the aim of having a zero carbon footprint. Everybody comments on the beauty of our house, saying they would love to live here. Certainly we couldn’t have wished for more. Within days of moving in we have felt very settled, and have enjoyed continued happiness and support from the environment. It was a big step, but we are looking ahead to this new chapter in our new Fortune Creating home. With future Vastu projects in mind, we formed the company Prana World Developments and Design Pty Ltd, for the promotion of refined structures, art and design, and Maharishi Vastu in our region, and have already received enquiries and site visits. We look forward to promoting all the marvelous features and benefits of Maharishi Vastu Architecture on the Gold Coast.” For more information contact us