Finnon Glen
Monday 03 Jun 2013


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The client brief was for a family holiday home on a working farm that had been destroyed in the Black Saturday fires. The Victorian Government invited architects to design affordable, sustainable housing to suit new bushfire building regulations in its wewillrebuild program. The owner chose a design by JCB architects then enlisted JCB to make modifications and work with Doherty Lynch for the interiors. The result is a strong rectangular structure clad in metal sheet roofing. The interior had to mimic the strong lines and simplicity of the exterior, while bringing in modernity, warmth and a feel of relaxation.

The rebuild needed to accommodate four families and 17 grandchildren. Challenges were ensuring the house could contract and expand with guests over peak holiday periods, finishes for the grandkids, noise control and a tight budget. Textured, robust and honest were desired in the use of layered materials. Spotted Gum, chosen to match the JCB materials on the eaves, is used for the entry nook and wraps inside to the entry foyer via a large purple-painted pivot door. This natural palette is brought to life with cabinetry in a mix of Japanese Sen ash, Moleskin-coloured laminate, black laminate with exposed ply edges and purple laminate.

Visual interest has also been brought in via feature tiles on the splashback and hexagonal mosaics in the bathroom, plus piano key handles on cabinetry along a wide hallway. Sustainability was important in this project. A concrete slab was specified to attain the 5 star efficiency report. All glazing is low e to reduce heat loss and Bradford Sound screens were specified for better thermal properties and acoustics. Lighting was also important, with low emission wall lights and pendant lights replacing down lights wherever possible. All joinery was made using ply instead of MDF substrate.

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