Sawmill House Is A Reclaimed-concrete Home For A Sculptor On An Old Australian Gold Mine

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Sculptor Benjamin Gilbert worked with architecture studio Archier to create his very own household house on a former gold mine and sawmill, using reclaimed concrete blocks and rough-sawn macrocarpa wood .

Sawmill house by Archier

Situated in Yackandandah, a little Australian town halfway amongst Melbourne and Canberra, the single-storey Sawmill House is an improve of a sculpture studio that the artist created on the site seven many years previously.

Sawmill house by Archier

He enlisted the help of his brother Chris – one of the three founders of Melbourne-based Archier – to transform the outdated studio into a residence with a hand-crafted aesthetic, featuring indoor and outside residing spaces, and views in excess of the valley landscape.

Sawmill house by Archier

The site was initially established as a gold mine but had later been repurposed as a saw mill.

“The sawmill had been a function of our childhoods and by some possibility my brother acquired the block in 2005,” explained Chris Gilbert. “Over the following seven many years we usually spoke about potential upgrades to the tool-sharpening shed he had cleared out to make a bedroom.”


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Concrete blocks were chosen as the major development material for the house. Each weighing roughly a single tonne, these blocks have been a byproduct of other development projects in the region and would otherwise have gone to waste.

Sawmill house by Archier

The staff used specifically 270 blocks to construct the walls of the rectangular creating. They were left exposed wherever feasible, producing rough surfaces inside and out.

Sawmill house by Archier

“The use of the reclaimed concrete blocks is an experiment in harnessing the thousands of tonnes of concrete that goes to waste each and every 12 months,” said Chris. “Each and every block is a byproduct of excess concrete left in trucks, poured into rough steel troughs.”

Sawmill house by Archier

“Every of the 1-tonne concrete blocks that type the perimeter of the dwelling’s walls has a story – a bridge, a footpath, a home – and develop a patchwork of colour and texture across the facades,” he said.

“This texture grounds the building in the website, as the layers of colour mimic the sedimentary layers of earth nevertheless exposed from the site’s former life as a gold mine.”

Sawmill house by Archier

The home was originally meant as a home for Benjamin alone, but his situation later on transformed – so the authentic design and style has to be adapted to suit a couple with a younger youngster.


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“The birth of a infant not only hurried progress, but also pushed little one-friendly design changes to be produced,” explained Chris.

Sawmill house by Archier

The home now comprises an open-prepare room that can be subdivided if required to supply more privacy. A 9-metre-wide door allows the living space to open out to a huge veranda, which can be exposed or sheltered from the aspects by rolling back a section of the roof.

Sawmill house by Archier

The rough-sawn macrocarpa wood was employed for flooring, ceilings and joinery, referencing the old saw mill, whilst the kitchen was finished with sheets of patinated brass to generate golden hues, in tribute to the former mine.

Sawmill house by Archier

“Timber for the project was sourced locally – we had wonderful support from the regional supplier who fell and milled the timber just up the street from the web site,” stated Chris.

Sawmill house by Archier

“And following some experimentation we all agreed that a thin patinated brass sheet would give a stunning glow and add texture to the room, although referencing the treasured metals that were extracted from the internet site,” he added.

Sawmill house by Archier

Pivoting doors reveal the master bedroom at the finish of the strategy, which opens out to a sheltered courtyard. The bathroom comprises a deck that runs along the rear of the bedroom, and functions a copper sink.

Sawmill house by Archier

All of the furniture for the house was custom built by the design staff. This consists of the wood-framed sofas in the residing area, as effectively as the picnic-bench fashion dining table and lighting fixtures.

Sawmill house by Archier

“Our younger household of three can now dwell comfortably and securely within the industrial zone,” explained Benjamin Gilbert.

“Massive operable veranda, screens and doors transform the room to suit different climatic and social conditions, which is vital to our loved ones who have to operate in a various and often excessive climate, and direct our residence through a spectrum of private retreat to communal hub,” he added.

Photography is by Ben Hosking.

Sawmill house by ArchierFloor program

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