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Furniture-on-Wheels Makes This Home's Kitchen Super Flexible

By Dwell @dwell
Cedar cladding on Australian home.

Architect Andrew Simpson and the owners wanted to keep the design simple and grounded with “a sense of modest honesty.” In terms of the exterior, “as much of the existing cedar cladding as possible was retained and reused.”

After years of searching for a retreat of their own, a family found this secluded site on the northwest edge of Australia’s Phillip Island. It was a pastoral spec of land two hours from Melbourne and bounded by wetlands. The property featured a 20th century chicory kiln: a cedar-clad concrete structure once used to dry the vegetable of the same name. The clients wanted to convert the kiln into a structure where rooms—even the main staircase—could be adjusted according to changing needs. Architect Andrew Simpson answered this request for “open-endedness,” as he calls it, while respecting historical preservation guidelines for the facade.  Complicating factors, the building was not in good shape: walls were crumbling and cross-ventilation to combat the heat was scarce. Simpson resolved these issues by honoring what could be saved and prescribing new, simple features that made the building into a viable home.


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