Sheila and Nobby (Norman) Ward came to Australia from Britain about 20 years ago. Nobby is a builder, who grew tired of constructing buildings to other people’s specifications. He wanted to construct buildings based on his own designs. He conceived an elaborate plan to design and build seven different structures on a family-owned property. Two structures are now complete, with the third approaching completion.
Nobby and Sheila are building these dwellings themselves. They are so different to average buildings that they require special skills and evolve as they are constructed. Nobby works from sketches on bits of paper as ideas and inspiration come to him. He has been inspired to concentrate on the project even more since he found out he has cancer and now wishes to do what gives him most pleasure.
The property is now called Mira Mira Fantasy B&B, and guests are welcomed at the front gate by a massive silver sculpture of a dragon above the driveway.
Cave house – Magog’s Cavern
The cave house was the first structure to be built. It has proved very popular with visitors, because it provides them with an opportunity to live ‘Hobbit-style’. Its small door is surrounded by the mouth of ‘Magog’, a large yawning mouth based on a pagan image. Marble water features and small coloured up-lights give the cave walls a beautiful patterned glow. The bedrooms have tiny lights installed in the roof, giving the appearance of a canopy of twinkling stars. Despite the fact that guests are partially underground, the Cavern isn’t the slightest bit claustrophobic.
Japanese Zen retreat
The Japanese house is based on the architecture of the 17th-century Katsura Palace in Kyoto. A small dam at the front of the house creates an illusion that the house is afloat, while the wide decking that juts over the water and circles the house seems to encourage contemplation.
Tanglewood, the most recent dwelling, has smooth rounded walls. Every window is a different shape, some like spider webs and some like tear drops. Nobby wanted to create the feeling of being inside a living thing, an organic house. Other proposed buildings are the ‘English Cottage of Inglenook’, the ‘Great House’ and the ‘Fairy House’.
Mira Mira Fantasy B&B
1395 Bloomfield Road
Phone: (03) 5626 7200 or 0427 379 917