Designed in the British Arts and Crafts style, the ‘Fairacres’ Steam Plant Buiding is a single-storey wood frame building with a gabled roof that originally housed the apparatus for climate control in the greenhouses, formerly located to its north. The original rubble stone walls that formed the fo…
Designed in the British Arts and Crafts style, the ‘Fairacres’ Steam Plant Buiding is a single-storey wood frame building with a gabled roof that originally housed the apparatus for climate control in the greenhouses, formerly located to its north. The original rubble stone walls that formed the foundation for the greenhouses stand adjacent. The Steam Plant Building stands as a pendant to the Root House, which is to the north of the former greenhouses.
The outbuildings at 'Fairacres' are a rare surviving architecturally-designed ensemble of agricultural structures that exist in complementary harmony with the main estate house. Architect Robert Mackay Fripp (1858-1917), an outspoken advocate of Arts and Crafts design, was retained by the Ceperleys to design several original outbuildings on their estate.
The Ceperleys operated 'Fairacres' with staff, a farm manager and workers, including Chinese, to grow produce for themselves and for sale at local markets. The Steam Plant Building illustrates the market gardening activity of the area around Deer Lake and its importance to the Ceperley family, which valued a year-round supply of fresh fruit and vegetables for the kitchen and flowers for the house. It also illustrates the cultural and aesthetic values of the Ceperleys in retaining an architect to design a functional outbuilding using an accepted and contemporary architectural style. Built in 1908, the Steam Plant Building was significantly altered in the 1960s and restored to its original design in 2000.
Key elements that define the heritage character of the ‘Fairacres’ Steam Plant Building include its:
- overall spatial arrangement of the Steam Plant Building in relation to the former greenhouses and the Root House
- side gable roof with cedar shingle cladding.
- tall brick chimney indicitive of the building's original function.
- distinctive Arts and Crafts architectural features such as the shingle wall cladding with decorative shingling under window sills, deep eaves, and pebble-dashed concrete foundation walls
- six-paned wooden-sash casement windows
- simple functional interior features
- rubble stone walls that formed the foundation for the greenhouses