THE NEXT CHALLENGE

WORDS Joshua Brosnahan PHOTOS Jamie Armstrong

The site at Redcliff’s 12 Challenger Lane has seen a number of incarnations, and now owners Daryl and Tara Hewitt are passing on their most treasured abode to start a new, exciting chapter.

“We like projects,” Tara says, with a laugh.

“We’re really passionate about building. Even though we love this place, and we loved the last house on this site, we like doing different things and projects keep us entertained.”

Daryl shares how zealous they are throughout the process of building.

“So many people say they don’t enjoy building, but we really do find it interesting. We go on holiday, and we’re always looking for new ideas for something at home, and new trends in architecture.”

The couple have lived in Redcliffs for close to 20 years, after Tara convinced Daryl to move over to be by the sea. Through Daryl’s firm DJ Hewitt, they have built multiple houses on Challenger Lane for themselves and for clients.

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Their upcoming build will be located nearer to the bay, with a closer view of what they have now. The current view is breathtaking. Each balcony offers a glimpse down into Redcliffs with an unobstructed view of Moncks Bay. This build will be in a ‘completely different direction’ to Challenger Lane, according to Daryl.

12 Challenger Lane, designed by O’Neil Architecture, is reassuringly over-engineered. Two K braces, encased in glass are one of the main features in the centre of the house. The entire structure is made of steel, but unlike a traditional build, at the back of the house there is a walkway ensuring the retaining wall is separate from the home. There is less chance of an earthquake pushing the retaining wall against or into the home.

The kitchen balances Tara’s love for both contemporary and old-world elegance, and is a clear illustration of how the two can stand side by side, with the detailing of the lacquered doors and drawers a perfect partner to the eight metre long single piece of satin-finished stainless steel benchtop.

Tara has taken on the majority of the interior design work herself. Intricate details such as the skirting and architrave were hand drawn and run specifically for this build. Tiles in the main dining and kitchen area are ceramic, with the appearance of wood – this is to ensure maximum output from heating sources. Everything looks plush, and comfortable. It’s a grand house, but with no stuffy airs and graces. It’s a home. In Tara’s words, “It all looks pretty but we still sit on all the furniture!”

The couple clearly collaborate well on projects. Tara works with DJ Hewitt clients on interiors for their builds.

“Daryl and I have the same taste, otherwise it just wouldn’t work. I can have a big idea, and Daryl is the one to make it happen, practically. Together we come up with a good solution.” The house is set for embracing the future, with automated systems controllable from your smartphone anywhere in the world. In a matter of moments, the louvres are shut and the media room quickly becomes the front row for a Pink concert.

As much as an earthquake rebuild can be emotionally taxing, Tara says they looked to the positives.

“We had the advantage of living in this spot for years. We knew how the sun worked on site, and where the winds came from. We made sure all our new outdoor areas made the most of the sun, as when I am home, I like to move around and sit for different views, and lights.”

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The house is quiet. There’s a comforting low roar in the distance from the bay, and various sounds of nature. There’s established trees and a forest close by, which brings native birds right to their door. The couple have a resident bellbird who visits morning and night for a song. Daryl also highlights the distinct lack of nor wester, something all Cantabrians are well experienced with.

“We love it here. The sun rises straight out of the sea. It lights up the spit, and it absolutely looks stunning.”

12 Challenger Lane is now destined for new owners. One can only imagine they will love the view, the people, and the suburb of Redcliffs as much as the Hewitts have.

This property is currently available to purchase. Contact Adam Heazlewood at Bayleys for information.

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