| BNE December 2014/January 2015
y day Lindsay Bennett and Bryce
Williams are the driving force behind
some of Brisbane’s most prestigious
events, including Mercedes-Benz Fashion
Festival, but after hours they are mein hosts
at their new guest house Heal House in New
Farm. After more than 18 months of meticulous
renovation Heal House welcomed its first guests
(an international media crew) during G20.
The pair bought the former boarding house
initially to be a home and work space but
after a friend’s suggestion to create a boutique
guest house, they jumped in. So, as plans were
ramping up for yet another glamorous fashion
festival Bennett and Williams were going home
to a chilly winter with no windows and tarps
for cover, plumbing so bad some plumbers
refused to even contemplate the work,
stripping back layers of lead paint and nine
layers of lino, replacing doors and the roof and
adding bathrooms. Apart from the specialist
trades, Bennett and Williams did most of the
“Once we decided to make it a guest house
one thing led to another and then we were
soundproofing between walls and making
changes to comply with safety regulations and
the budget blew out by about 300 per cent!”
The result is a beautiful Queenslander
reawakened, with three luxury guest suites
with ensuites, shady verandahs with dining
and reading nooks and a spacious lounge, all
within walking distance to the dining and
entertainment precincts of New Farm and
The interiors, too, are all their own work
and an eclectic mix of finishes and possessions
collected over decades to give a smart but
soothing welcome to new guests.
Bennett and Williams are widely travelled
and have great memories of favourite hotels,
particularly across the US, and the small touches
that made their stay memorable.
The pair intend to take on hosting duties
themselves (in addition to their day jobs) at
Heal House, preparing breakfasts (Bennett is an
expert at poached eggs and is already practising
his scones for future afternoon teas for guests)
and generally working towards making their
guests feel at home while visiting the city. Heal
House will also be the next go-to venue for
intimate guest-chef dinners and cocktail parties
for a social clientele.
Heal House, 72 Heal Street, New Farm. Seewww.healhouse.com.au
or call 3358 3350.
TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED
rchitect Peter Roy (
) says he is a man of few words yet he has an engaging story to tell at
the next PechaKucha night at Brisbane Powerhouse. As architect-in-charge at Brisbane City
Council during the Brisbane Powerhouse redevelopment he was both project director and
theatre designer and therefore has an intimate knowledge of all its nooks and crannies. Roy also has
a passion for drawing and does one drawing a day – even if it’s just a five-minute sketch of his dog.
At PechaKucha he will combine the two in a 20/20 presentation – 20 slides accompanied by 20
seconds of presentation each – for a total six minutes, 40 seconds presentation! And that is the art
and entertainment of PechaKucha. The slides wait for no one and when they are done, the speaker
is done, and it’s on to the next.
The format was devised by architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo-based firm Klein
Dytham Architecture and the first event held at their creative space in Tokyo more than 10 years
ago. Now PechaKucha events are held in more than 700 cities around the world where just about
anyone can talk about almost anything – from creative projects to prized collections to favourite
holiday snaps – as long as they stick to the time and format.
Although he has not presented at PechaKucha before Peter Roy has been in the audience of many
past events. Topics are often about design, he says, but on one night when he attended an architect,
a hairdresser, a lighting designer and a man talking about his dogs were among the speakers.
Roy says his talk is the excuse he needs to finish a sequence of drawings of his favourite building
and his accompanying talk will enlighten his audience about the lesser known corners of the
Powerhouse he calls the “leftover performance spaces”. And, as a man of few words, he says he isn’t
worried about going overtime.
PechaKucha, Turbine Platform, Brisbane Powerhouse, from 8.20pm, 17 December. Free event.
Look out for more events next year.
Photography by Ian Golding
Lindsay Bennett (
Bryce Williams at Heal House