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Bushfire rebuild wins highest honour, Building Design of the Year.


BIBG_Grand Designs HomeA beautiful home rebuilt after the devastating Victorian 2009 bushfires has been awarded the highest accolade at the recent Building Designers Association of Victoria's annual awards night.


The home won eight other awards on the night, from the "Most Innovative Use of Timber" to "Best Environmentally Sustainable Design - Residential". The home rebuild was undertaken by designers Hamilton Design and owner builder Chris Clarke.

Chris, a designer and builder, had stewed for 10 years on the concept for his original house, carefully choosing a five-acre site in Callignee in Victoria's east that to him was "heaven". The home took two years to build, but it was swept away in the Black Saturday bushfires. All that was left of Callignee 1, which is what he now calls this original home, was a brick wall, concrete slab, steel frame, some panes of glass and a jumble of timber, concrete and steel. Yet somehow the wreck inspired Chris to rebuild with new vigour. "The steel frame stood there in its glory. It just stood there in that strength, and I wanted to work with that," he says.

BIBG_Grand Designs Home_2


As well as the pressing need to construct a fire-proof home in an area of extreme risk, Chris was determined to make sustainability and non-toxicity key drivers in the design of this new home. After nine months of building and an expenditure of $450,000 the result is Callignee 2, a dramatic and highly conceptual statement in weathered, rusty hues that blends with the resilient and regrowing landscape.


Its compelling story made it the first house profiled in Grand Designs Australia on the Lifestyle Channel. It was also profiled in Sanctuary: modern green homes magazine, issue 14.



Words Sasha Shtargot

Photography Rhiannon Slatter

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