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Rosedale is one of the most significant Regency mansions in Tasmania. Our role was to design and build a new indoor swimming pool within part of the earliest constructions, which once housed the original 1830’s kitchen and a lean-to greenhouse. The kitchen was relocated with the major 1850’s upgrade and the internal spaces had been left redundant.

The brief was to leave the external historic early building shell completely intact and insert a new interior within this existing enclosure. It was an important part of the brief to also create a sense of whimsy. The new work is completely hidden, becoming a secret world within. The Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem ‘Kubla Khan’ was written in exactly the same year as Rosedale was built, and the new secret interior reflects the opening lines… ‘In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure dome decree, where Alph the sacred river ran, down to a sunless sea…’

One of the features of the interior is a new brick tower as a bar/shower, with a brick pendentive dome on a square base, with a tapered brick corbelled cone above, becoming a chimney/light shaft/vent for the shower. It is a unique experience to shower in it. Worthy of the opium fuelled experience which inspired Coleridge? It is a folly like few others.

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