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The Bubble House in Ipswich is for sale for the first time

The Bubble House in Ipswich is for sale for the first time
Looking for a home that thinks outside the box?

A one-of-a-kind property dubbed the Bubble House has hit the market for the very first time, drawing interest from across the country and around the world.

The home in Karalee, Ipswich, has grabbed the attention of buyers from as far afield as France since it was listed for expressions of interest on Monday.

More than 30 years in the making, the property spans 11 domes – each from four to eight metres wide – and looks more like a space station than a Queensland family home.

Architect Graham Birchall and his wife, Sharon, started building the property in 1983, two years after Mr Birchall used the bubble house idea for his thesis for his architecture degree in Brisbane.

The couple gradually created the home over 30 years, undertaking major renovations in the late 2000s and even emailing NASA to use their designs on their window shades, the pair previously told Domain. Now they’re selling up their much-loved family home to make a sea change.

While unique in shape, the riverfront property has all the usual homely features with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a four-car garage and workshop, and a round kitchen – designed by a boat builder and carpenter to get all the curves.

The Bubble House in Ipswich is for sale for the first time (2)

It also includes an office, a media room, library, bar and wine cellar – again all round, of course – as well a glass entry tunnel to welcome you into the home, multiple terraces and a golf tee.

“When you walk in, it changes the way you feel,” selling agent Helene Shephard of First National Real Estate Action Realty Ipswich said. “It has this energy that just calms you and you can have a lot of people in the home without even realising it.”

The Bubble House in Ipswich is for sale for the first time (3)

In total the home offers a whopping 1050 square metres of floor space and sits on a 5109-square-metre block about a 40-minute drive from the CBD.

Ms Shephard said she had been inundated with local, national and international interest in the home since Monday.

She’s had many calls from excited architecture buffs asking about the light throughout the property, the form and the function, and also locals who have long hoped to take a peek inside the local landmark.

The Bubble House in Ipswich is for sale for the first time (4)

“I’ve had a lot of local inquiry, from people asking, ‘Can we bring my mum, dad and the kids, I drove past that house every time I was in Karalee … and we’ve always dreamed of seeing inside’.”

Unfortunately, Ms Shephard said, she’s had to shatter their dreams, with the home – still a workplace for the owners – only open for private inspections with serious buyers.

While properties of its size and location typically sell for more than $1 million, Ms Shephard was reluctant to put a price tag on the unique home.

The Bubble House in Ipswich is for sale for the first time (5)

“Graham and his family are looking for the right buyer who will appreciate everything they are gifting on,” Ms Shephard said.

“It’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity [for buyers], and for me too to find a buyer,” she added.  “It will be somebody who wants to live in an environment that stimulates them and is creative.”

Although unusual homes can often take some time to sell, Ms Shephard does not think that should be an issue here.

And when they find a buyer, they’ll be sure to celebrate with some bubbles.




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Ipswich community feedback called for Richardson Park design

Richardson Park design, Ipswich

Residents and families can share their thoughts on modern amenities, beautified landscaping and an immersive ‘river life’ playground that are detailed in council’s concept plan for upgrading Richardson Park in Goodna.

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chairperson Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the detailed concept design was developed using the community feedback council received in February.

“The playground, amenities block and exercise equipment in Richardson Park are in need of replacing, and an upgrade will provide a renewed space that highlights the special local environment for young and old,” Mayor Harding said.

“All amenities and exercise equipment will be upgraded and the new playground centrepiece will be a ropes and climbing structure, creating a river life-themed playground suitable for young children to play on and explore imaginary waterways.”

IF Richardson Park Detailed Concept Design A

If Richardson Park Detailed Concept Design B

Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson and Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said the community can view and share feedback on the concept design on Shape Your Ipswich.

“Important features of the concept design include a nature area with a dry creek bed and water play equipment, more seats to take in the wonderful views of the Brisbane River, retention of the magnificent Jacaranda trees and more garden beds,” Cr Tully said.

“The detailed concept plan also includes improved lighting for security and safety, renovated and accessible toilets and more modern fitness equipment.”

Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said the community can share their thoughts about the detailed concept plan online now until the end of the month.

“The concept plan has reimagined Richardson Park including open green spaces for picnics near the existing flying fox as well as a looped path for exercise,” Cr Jonic said.

“I encourage residents to again take part in our community consultation process and tell us what they like or want added to the final design of the park.”

Construction is scheduled to begin next financial year.



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Ipswich infrastructure critical to keep Queensland’s fastest-growing region moving

Ipswich infrastructure critical to keep Queensland’s fastest-growing region moving

Infrastructure critical to the future of Ipswich’s major population centres is in desperate need of significant investment, with no Federal election candidate yet committing investment to prevent gridlock from stunting economic productivity, future growth and the region’s liveability.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the Centenary Highway was one significant area that needed urgent planning, design and delivery of critical upgrades that were already lagging behind the population boom.

“As the Federal election draws near, council is calling on candidates to invest in the fastest-growing city in Queensland,” Mayor Harding said.

“Ipswich has the most rapid population growth of any local government area in Queensland with 6,000 new residents each year.”

Mayor Harding said that population growth was centred on hotspot areas connected by the Centenary Highway – including Greater Springfield, Ripley Valley Priority Development Area and Redbank Plains.

“That population growth is set to continue with an abundant pipeline of new land for housing along that corridor,” Mayor Harding said.

Mayor Harding said the Centenary Highway in particular, was essential to the movement of people and freight around South-East Queensland.

“Without public transport options – such as the Ipswich to Springfield Central Public Transport Corridor –hundreds of thousands of new residents and businesses will be forced to use the highways, leading to congestion and putting the brakes on the economic and social growth for the whole region,” Mayor Harding said.

Deputy Mayor Division 1 Councillor Jacob Madsen said Ripley Valley was deemed a Priority Development Area (PDA) by the State Government, but coordinated action from all levels of government was required to address a $92 million catalytic funding shortfall.

“We are preparing for another 120,000 new residents moving into the Ripley corridor over the next 20 years – as well as other new housing developments in surrounding areas – and significant upgrades are required to the Centenary Highway and associated road network to cater for this growth,” Cr Madsen said.

Division 1 Councillor Sheila Ireland said the Ripley Valley PDA was one of the largest growth areas in Australia, covering 4,860 hectares and set to have a total of 135,000 people in 50,000 dwellings.

“We are only at the beginning of the boom in Ripley Valley. If the State and Federal governments are serious about liveability in South-East Queensland they will invest in the infrastructure this nationally-significant area needs before it is too late,” Cr Ireland said.

Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said the current state of the Centenary Highway with the 60km/hr roundabouts and single-lane 100km/hr sections was already struggling with the growing volume of traffic.

“It is critical that these upgrades are planned and funded by the State and Federal governments to confirm interchange locations and configurations and unlock the ongoing development of the Springfield region, Ripley and beyond,” Cr Tully said.

Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said council was calling for immediate action on the planning of corridor duplication and the Centenary Highway/Augusta Parkway interchange.

“Ipswich is a high-growth city that requires investment in strategic roads to ensure people and freight continue to move safely and efficiently,” Cr Jonic said.



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Drinks making giant brings the fizz to Ipswich with $400m project

Drinks making giant brings the fizz to Ipswich with $400m project

International beverage company Frucor Suntory will develop a $400 million facility in Ipswich.

The project was expected to generate about 45o jobs during construction next year and 160 operational jobs from 2024.

Among Frucor’s brands are V, Pepsi, Mountain Dew and 7Up.

The company has found a 17-ha greenfield site in the New-Gen Business Park at Swanbank.

Chief executive Darren Fullerton said the investment recognised the growth trajectory the company believed was possible.

He said the company wanted the new facility is set a benchmark for its investment in sustainable technologies that would also drive efficiency and minimise the carbon footprint.

The facility would include beverage processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution.

“Pending approvals we’re planning to start work on construction in the third quarter of this year and commence operations in mid-2024,” Fullerton said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was a coup for the state given that Queensland was selected ahead of other states.

“The value of attracting this investment to Queensland will have significant benefits for our economic recovery and most importantly it will create new jobs for Queenslanders,” she said.


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