Port Douglas - Nathan Verri
Narrator: Located in the heart of tropical far north Queensland, Port Douglas is famous for its white sandy beaches, palm trees, and luxurious holiday homes. And it's Nathan Verri, the builder of one of these award-winning homes, who has discovered the secret to perfecting the art of imperfection.
Nathan: As soon as you walk through that entry gates from the street, it's like you've just walked into another world. The client wanted to create an ancient temple that felt like you'd just walk back in time. And when you walk through the entry gates, that's exactly what it's like. You look beyond the house, through the arbour, through the bifolding doors, and you can see all the way out to the ocean.
Narrator: With the ocean waves lapping just metres away, Spice at Oak Beach as it's affectionately known, with its very own beachfront, is not just unique for its spectacular location, but also for the exceptional detail in its artisan finishes.
Nathan: Everything in this house is unconventional, and achieving a rustic but perfect finish was an amazing challenge.
Narrator: This unconventional finish was in truth, the product of relentless attention to detail, sheer determination and a commitment to old world craftsmanship.
Nathan: Hand-selected recycled timbers we used to create this bench top, as were the roof members throughout the home. We designed and developed a lot of the bespoke finishes within the home. We hand-formed the concrete bench tops. The render is a hand-developed finish specifically developed for this project.
Narrator: At Spice on Oak Beach, the eye is instantly drawn to the use of recycled timbers, and it's the individual character of each of these timber pieces that helps to enrich that sense of history and timeless beauty.
Nathan: Whether it come from an ancient Indian temple or from an old wharf pulled down in Brisbane. The doors are about 200 years old and were brought in from India.
Narrator: These ocean timbers are used as surfaces throughout the home. From centuries-old timber flooring, to structural beams and cabinetry too. And when adorned with the thoughtful consideration of ocean-themed embellishments, and surrounded by the sound of lapping waves, it's a total experience for the senses. But what's not so obvious to the naked eye is the labour, engineering, design and complexity hidden inside Nathan's carpentry skill. As it's these structural elements to the home that created the most unique challenges.
Nathan: Some of the most intricate details within the home would have been surrounded by the complex nature of the hand-pitched roofing system. There's multiple angles and facets to deal with, there's broken tails to pitch, to give the Asian-inspired roof pitched design, which is not something for the lighthearted. And a lot of people would probably have shied away from.
Narrator: This lost art of traditional carpentry and the understanding to the mechanics of old timbers, that are more often warped or twisted, meant not only did they have to look aesthetically pleasing, but they had to physically perform the task of giving the home strength to survive this windswept ocean coastline.
Nathan: Every surface hand-selected, each post nominated for a certain position. So we had to ensure that every piece was not only beautiful, but structurally sound.
Narrator: This level of detailed craftsmanship, intricacy and accuracy, was put to the ultimate test for Nathan and his team, when 36 crates of raw stone arrived on-site, all needing to be chipped, cut, ground and hand-laid into their precise position. And it's these intricate finishes and architectural features that most often demanded handcrafted solutions from natural or recycled materials.
Nathan: Oak was a very unconventional build. Every surface, every fixture was delivered through painstaking design development and intricate selections. A lot of builders would have baulked at it. However, we grasped the bull by its horns and got passionately involved to see the project through to what it is today.
Narrator: And that's the ultimate trick to Nathan's work. It's his passion and unwavering level of precision and dedication to each of the surfaces which he creates that helps him to overcome the challenges throughout the build.
Nathan: Everything within this home has been hand-selected and carefully and accurately positioned so that every component works together, and talks to each other, to be able to produce the overall finish and feel of the home, which truly is amazing.
Narrator: And in doing so, Nathan achieved award-winning results.
Nathan: This kitchen won Kitchen of the Year, 2018. The home itself won Home of the Year 2017, when it was finished. We're just so proud of this home, so proud of our relationship with the client, so proud of everyone that was involved in the project. At times, it's hard to teach and get tradesmen that are used to finishing surfaces to such perfection, when we're wanting imperfection, but perfectly carried out. And that was the ultimate trick of the whole project. Getting imperfection perfect.