“Builder Strengthens the Local Industry” – Northern Rivers MBA Awards lift-out, July 2009.
John Henderson began his building company, JS Henderson Pty Ltd, in 1982. A major focus over the years has been employing local carpenters and training apprentices for the local building industry.
This year’s entry into the over $1 million category of the MBA Awards engaged four employees who had all trained as apprentices with JS Henderson.
Embedded in their experience and training was an understanding of the quality workmanship that was required to build construct high-end projects such as this one.
The firm’s commitment to the future is to strengthen the future of the building industry on the North Coast, building great buildings that give value and pleasure to clients.
The core of its work has been in individually designed homes and the real success has been brought about by the architect – most recently the architects from Archimages Architecture – the owner and the builder.
When all the three components of the building project work in concert, the achievement is a satisfying blend of pride in workmanship and design, as well as a pleasure in the process.
Too often the building experience is stressful for clients. JS Henderson strives to make it an enjoyable one.
Each project is a new challenge that the team takes on with commitment energy and a sense of privilege.
The results are structures that impress and give pleasure to the users, and relationships that foster mutual respect for great skill, organization, cooperation and ingenuity.
“View from the Hill” – Coast & Country Living, Summer 2010-2011
When David and his wife Anne were looking for a more laid-back lifestyle for their retirement, the fond memories of the time spent in their former Belongil residence came flooding back fostering the decision to return to the area.
“We wanted to return to the Byron Bay area and spent a lot of time looking around. Initially we looked at properties with panoramic views along the ridge between Broken Head and Lennox Head, however found them to be too exposed to cold southerly winds.”
“Looking further north we found this property on Coolamon Scenic Drive with beautiful 180o views over the valley to the Pacific. The north facing site is well protected from southerlies by the ridges to the south, yet gets northerlies in summers, that are welcome and provide cooling airflow through the house.
David and Anne wanted a pavilion style residence that was reminiscent of rural structures of the north coast area and much of rural Australia and engaged John Gray of Archimages Architecture to respond to the brief.
“We have two adult children who live only two hours away in Brisbane and visit often so we needed a second pavilion for them,” said Anne.
Three pavilions were designed, a large central pavilion being the public living zone with the kitchen, dining, lounge, home theatre and billiard room. This main building is linked by a sheltered walkway at the main entrance to a smaller two bedroom guest’s pavilion to the north that also adjoins the outdoor entertainment and swimming pool area. The third pavilion containing the master bedroom, sewing room and office is linked to the south side of the main pavilion facing the ocean to the east.
The house is designed employing ecologically sustainable development and passive solar principles. Throughout the house they have used new technology “e-glass” which has a metallic coating that reflects light and heat. Recycled timber is used for much of the structure and other building components. John states, “We created a rustic feel taken to a high level of refinement”.
The large Ironbark columns and trusses that are a major feature of the internal structure were sourced from the old sugar wharf at Mackay. The trusses were made onsite by the craftsmen of multi-award winning builder JS Henderson, and are fixed with stainless steel bolts and specially fabricated brackets.
The two large doors at the entrance to the home theatre and billiard room were made onsite from recycled Ironbark and weighing about 300kg each, they have been hung with a perfect balance that allows each door to swivel silently and close softly with just a light touch, further testament to the talents of John Henderson’s skilled tradesmen.
Lambs Electrical installed a state-of-the-art Clipsal C-bus remote control automated system throughout the property. With the push of a button the home theatre is transformed, the lights dim, curtains close and the huge plasma screen comes to life. A digital electronic panel centrally controls many other features including security, intercom, opening and closing of high set windows to optimize air flow, lighting, heating, appliances, even the pool pumps.
The wall of bi-fold timber framed doors facing the swimming pool feature sashless double-hung counterbalanced glass panes built into each other. This allows you to open the glass within each door and still have airflow with the doors closed. As you slide up the bottom glass pane the top pane slides down to meet it. You are left with an opening both top and bottom of each door frame.
While the home does have reverse-cycle air-conditioning the efficient airflow design means that the cooling system is rarely if ever used.
The Woodrabbit designed and built kitchen features counterbalanced ‘soft-close’ cabinets and has aluminium strips applied to the internal edges of the 2-pac finished, precisely crafted doors and drawers. All appliances are by Meile and a special feature is the induction cooktop which uses the most advanced technology to heat metal pots instantly and directly. You could place a sheet of tissue paper between the hotplate and a boiling pot without burning or even heating the paper.
The award winning pool was designed and built Ron Pinextrem of Baywater Pools. It combines a full length lap pool with a shallow beach-like shelf that is ideal for child play and paddling. The pool is built on a steep slope and its construction also acts as a retaining wall with 8 metre reinforced concrete pylons going all the way down to the bedrock.
“David likes to do laps every day and we love to entertain around the pool in summer,” says Anne. “The kitchen is so well designed and laid out. It’s a real privilege to cook here and the living room with the fireplace is the heart of the house in cooler months.”
The use of stone is a prominent feature both inside and out. On arrival we walk along a wide cobblestone paved pathway that weaves around the front of the home and is reminiscent of old European villages. Stone has been used extensively as part of the garden landscaping and expertly laid by Bay Area Stoneworks.
At its main entrance there is a magnificent white wall of Pelligrino Sandstone that continues seamlessly into the interior of the main living space. Inside, beyond the kitchen there is a large magnificent textured stone wall with an internal combustion fireplace set into bluestone at the lower level and then granite continuing all the way to the high set roof. The living space to the fore of the kitchen has another prominent granite wall with the bluestone and granite supplied by Beckinsales Monumental Masons, Lismore.
The landscape design was developed as a joint project with Terra Spatial Design. A 220,000 litre underground water tank has been installed beneath the pool deck and part of the house which collects water from the roof, while a gray water purification system recycles water for use in the toilets and gardens.
“We had never built a house before. Making choices was harder than we thought but it all seemed to fall into place in the end. We found this hill with beautiful views and are very happy with the results”.
JS Henderson Pty Ltd – Coolamon Scenic Drive – Northern Star 2009
Winning the award for the best contract house over 3 million has been a highlight and acknowledgement to the many in the JS Henderson construction team who have undertaken the project with enthusiasm and pride.
The location, recycling and energy requirements of the owners and the implementation of the design by Architects, Archimages Architecture of Byron Bay presented a challenge readily embraced by our team.
This house is packed with technically advanced features which address the energy efficiency and sustainable aspect of housing which has become so important to our community. Insulation and energy conservation are now standard items in newly built homes.
The Byron environ house moves to the next level with the latest in smart glass technology, solar water heating to the house and pool, recycled water for gardens, underground water storage for 200,000 litres of rainwater, and on site electrical generation allowing it to achieve a high level of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Clever use of roof overhangs maximises sun penetration in winter and ensures shade in summer, thus reducing dependency on added heating and cooling systems.
The use of recycled timber throughout the house was a priority. All trusses and roof supports were from recycled beams of timber from the former wharf at Mackay, Queensland. They were processed and assembled on site with expert precision by our team and form a stunning visual backdrop and scale to the internal spaces.
Smart wiring was installed throughout the project.
There was extensive use of natural stone to bench tops and floors.
Particular features are the 200 x 30 ml Blackbutt timber flooring and timber doors to the main entry and to the entertainment area of the house which were also build on site from recycled ironbark.
The spectacular infinity edge pool which sits atop the north facing escarpment and the adjacent viewing platform facing the east and north, take full advantage of this magnificent site.
This project required our building team to be consistently innovative. Extensive research into the various aspects of materials and construction was necessary to achieve this outstanding result.
The JS Henderson team knew that expectations in a project of this value are high and quality of finish and presentation is paramount, what an amazing privilege to be involved in a project of this significance.