2016 Outdoor

Derek SwalwellDerek SwalwellDerek SwalwellDerek SwalwellDerek SwalwellDerek SwalwellDerek SwalwellRachel Nolan Rachel Nolan Derek Swalwell

Fairfield House

Design Practice

Kennedy Nolan in collaboration with Sam Cox Landscape
T:  03 9415 8971



Jury Citation

A sequence of small and robust interventions connects house to garden, to river, allowing the occupant to reconnect to the place in a way that has long been lost.

A bushland is re-created in a place that is characteristically a cottage garden - one can wander, bathe, warm by the fire and float above the river. These interventions are more primal than manicured; they speak of permanence and create a ritualistic existence in a new yet old world, on the doorstep to a big city.

The complete rehabilitation of the site immerses one into a place that is increasing rarely experienced, a place that typically requires effort to visit. Here, however, it becomes part of one's everyday existence and is characterized by exactness, restraint and maturity.

There are lessons in this project that are rarely practiced. These lessons, if more readily implemented, would change the nature of our relationship to and appreciation of place.

Project description

This is a south facing, steep bush block on the banks of the Yarra River in the inner-city suburb of Fairfield. A number of external spaces have been designed to make this native garden habitable. They are strung along a winding path that leads to the banks of the river.