Project details –


Gaia Construction




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Australian Design Review
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New Zealand Herald Viva
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Willem-Dirk du Toit


A new building, with a garage, gym and swimming pool, is designed to support and reflect the health and fitness ideals of an active family of four. 

The clients – a family focused on health and fitness – had a small, dilapidated garage that occupied a sunny spot behind their Edwardian house in Elwood. They asked Foomann to design a new building to accommodate their campervan, a gym, sauna and bathroom, and to overlook a new swimming pool. The resultant building reflects the family’s health and fitness ideals: rigorous and disciplined, yet still relaxed and fun.

The building is positioned against the southern boundary to free up the north side of the property for the swimming pool and to bring sunlight into the gym. An ordered 1.2-metre-by-1.2-metre grid determined the internal planning, paving layout and external timber strapping. Downstairs is wide and tall to fit the campervan, while upstairs is light and open for the gym. The material palette is environmentally and contextually appropriate and reflects the client’s desire for healthy spaces, with coastal-inspired timber cladding providing a relaxed feel.


Foomannimation by Isobel Knowles

New Build
The home gym and garage building is a visual focus from the house and makes a positive contribution to the rear laneway.

The upstairs gym is a light and open space, with environmentally and contextually appropriate material palette reflects the client’s desire for healthy spaces.

Spotted Gum panels in the kitchen provide a rich dark timber against crisp white surfaces.



Heritage Home
Timber strapping also features on the front of the client’s Edwardian house, creating cohesion between the old and new buildings.

Work undertaken for the existing house included a new kitchen and a first-floor addition with new bedrooms. Insulation was upgraded; a 30kw solar array added to the roof; and external blinds fitted on west-facing glazing. 

Making the most of the sunniest spot on the site, the pool is located to the north and the building to the south. Offsetting the first floor permits solar access to the neighbours – a constraint we embraced in the composition.


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