The Pole House: An Australian Icon

Vacationers come to The Pole House to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Photos courtesy of Easy Living Home Elevators

A new beach house, part of one of the continent’s most photographed properties, showcases a bespoke DomusLift by Easy Living Home Elevators.

“Do not call it home. The Pole House is an experience,” observes a commenter on a travel website. Many people travel to Australia to spend the holidays in The Pole House, the most photographed residence of the Great Ocean Road, the famous 253-km scenic thoroughfare south of Melbourne, Australia.

In the 2000s, the property underwent a radical renovation that included the addition of a house overlooking the beach next to the original house. This sleek, modern structure was outfitted with a DomusLift® by IGV manufactured on a bespoke design by Easy Living Home Elevators Pty. Ltd. of Australia.

The Pole House (which encompasses the new beach house) is a special residence offering one of the most impressive views on the Australian coast. This is the chosen destination of surfers from around the world. Originally, The Pole House’s charm was mainly due to its iconic value. It was a peculiar place, with a décor that did not fully take advantage of the wonderful landscape.

Today, the interior design of both the main house and beach house features a minimalist style accommodating the different shades of light throughout the day. In the 1970s, however, there were no opening windows, lighting was artificial (with orange ball chandeliers) and Berber carpet hung on the walls. Despite the scenery, the environment could be described as claustrophobic.

When new owners purchased The Pole House in the 2000s, it was modernized and reinterpreted to “bring an old ‘70s icon into the 21st century.” The firm that handled the project, F2 Architecture, observes this goal was achieved by “fully redesigning interiors to maximize the 180˚ views stretching from Split Point Lighthouse to [the town of] Lorne and beyond. Moreover, instead of the old wooden house, we wanted to build a large house overlooking the beach, separated from The Pole House, [to] offer, independently, a view of the landscape.”

Expanded and Opened Up

Easy Living installed an IGV platform DomusLift in the new beach house. Franco Fiorentini, architect, and Vivienne Mackley, interior designer with Studio F2 Architecture, shared the ideas behind the modernization/reconstruction and how it was carried out:

“The Pole House was a wooden structure with a roof made of concrete tiles. The decorations were kitsch ‘70s style. It gave the feeling of a comfortable tree house: cozy, but without opening windows, except for the entrance sliding door. On the same property, behind The Pole House, there was a small and very simple wooden house, including a bedroom, a closet, a bathroom and a shed, with four parking spaces.

“The Pole House was completely renovated using steel and glass. The interiors were fully redesigned and opened up. Today, the two sides can retract and open towards the ocean. Inside the house, a fantastic suspended fireplace allows a person to sit in front of the fire while contemplating the ocean. This was a specific request from the owners.”

The Pole House includes one bedroom, one bathroom, a living area and a kitchen area. Located on the site of the old wooden house, the new beach house overlooks the beach and, like the rebuilt original house, was designed in a minimalist style in steel, glass and concrete with wood accents. It has three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a large, open kitchen. The living room offers views over the 6-km-long Fairhaven Beach, the longest on the Surf Coast. The two houses can accommodate a total of eight people.

Vertical Transportation

The platform lift eases movement within the new house. The model features:

  • Rated load of 400 kg
  • Two stops
  • Two entrances
  • Travel of 3,200 mm
  • Speed of 0.3 mps
  • Hydraulic motor

The cab is 1,100 mm wide, 1,250 mm deep and 2,000 mm tall. It is equipped with automatic sliding doors. As regards energy efficiency, it features LED lighting.


The car profiles are natural anodized aluminum, while the push-button panel is brushed stainless steel. Embedded in a white ceiling, LED lights are surrounded by chrome rings. The cab’s outer cladding is made of wood in warm earth tones. The doors are in mirror steel to emphasize the minimalist style and reflect light.

Interesting and in tune with the latest architectural theories of the building/vertical-transportation relationship is the idea of the property owners, who were asked about their choice of materials and the atmosphere they wanted to create. They said:

“We wanted to evoke a sophisticated and luxurious atmosphere. The monochrome environment was the most suitable for the natural light nuances during the various moments of the day. We also wanted to give a prominent role to the lift. The goal was achieved by placing the lift in the center of the living room, instead of hiding it in a corner.”

Matteo Volpe, IGV general director, elaborated on this concept.

He observed a lift can be considered an element of furniture, thanks to a wide choice of finishes, and an element of the architectural space inside a house.

“The Pole House is a good example of the way a lifting platform is a versatile system that meets user and environmental needs, while complying with aesthetic requirements and creating an original space solution.” 

The Pole House provides a unique experience for travelers who want to enrich their journey in Australia. Stated the owners: “The location and view from both buildings are really astonishing, and, of course, it is popular because of the fact that it is an icon of the Australian landscape.”

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