Architect's vision a sustainable success
AT A time when large brick homes were popping up all across the suburbs, Gabriel Poole's architectural vision of small, affordable and sustainable housing was a challenging proposition.
Now, as house and land prices soar and care of the environment becomes paramount, his vision has become much more than relevant, for many it provides the practical and necessary guidelines for 21st century living.
Along with other distinguished accolades the Queensland-born architect has received the Robin Boyd Award and in 1998 the Royal Australian Institute of Architecture Gold Medal for lifetime contribution to Australian Architects.
This year, looking forward to his 83rd birthday with absolutely no plans for retiring, Poole is still devising and implementing architectural answers to social conundrums.
Speaking of the need for extended family living, he says: "There's really not much choice.
In 2014, he exhibited his ideas in a Queensland architectural show at Mt Tamborine. His design adhered to low-cost, modular principles with private areas for grandparents, parents and children. He included aged care facilities including rails, non-slip floors and wheelchair access across the home.
This sort of optional housing struck the interest of academic Dr Edgar Lui who has researched the pattern of multi-generational housing in Brisbane and Sydney and says the trend is on the increase.
KPMG demographer Bernard Salt believes multi-generational living will see Baby Boomers disposing of the big family home and setting up financial arrangements with their children to ensure a future home and care for all.
Finally, Gabriel Poole has often talked about the spiritual dimension of housing and as he moves forward designing housing for the inhabitants, rather than just following fashion, he insists that his designs must also 'lift the spirits'.