The Halprin House

Who knew that building an architect-designed house would be such a hectic undertaking? Everyone except me, evidently, given how widely I was advised against it. I’m not having regrets, but I am increasingly aware of how much easier it would have been to just buy an existing house.

If anyone’s having regrets, it’s the construction team tasked with putting together the unorthodox structure of exposed steel beams as visualised by Wilson Harper, my loopy architect. I just heard one of the crew virtually shouting down the phone at three different handyman steel suppliers. Melbourne being the design-oriented city that it is, you’d think the residential structural steel supplies need build an avant garde beach house would be readily available, but apparently the particular make of lintel needed for my arched doorway is harder to come by than you might think.

It’s not as though the whole team isn’t getting paid handsomely. I’ve gone premium on the whole shebang, partly at the behest of Mr Harper and partly because it’s just how I roll (which, admittedly, was probably instrumental in drawing me to the guy’s work in the first place). Even so, from what I understand, there’s a vibe that the design of this house is one of the more trying projects that the builders have come across lately.

I would think that, when it comes to steel fabrication services, Melbourne wouldn’t be the type of place to come up short. That being the case, I don’t understand why they wouldn’t just have the requisite steel products custom-made – there’s budget for it. At least, I think there is. I’m fairly certain it didn’t get burned through in the excavation process.

Either way, at the end of the day, it’s not like I don’t have money to burn on an experimental residential building. If I have my druthers, it will one day be known as ‘The Harper House’ and featured in international architecture quarterlies.