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Kyne House

by Locky Byrne, February 28, 2017

Kyne House is a single dwelling overlooking the Banyule Park State Forest in Echuca. The generously sized site is subject to inundation, at risk of bushfire attack and in a heritage overlay. The back of the site is bound by a levee bank.

The clients, Cathy and Peter Kyne of KGB Constructions, required a statement home melding their bold personalities with the context’s single-storey heritage character and against the redgum forest backdrop.

The result is a split level house with the garage and laundry on the lowest part of the site subject to flooding, an entry at street level, and a living level above the garage and laundry opening onto a balcony and cantilevered pool overlooking the forest.

The arrangement of the resilient laundry and garage at the lowest point allows flood water to flow through the building, without causing additional flooding to neighbouring properties. The higher entry space is slightly above flood level and provides a welcoming connection between the main living areas and the street, isolated from the more private living areas. The living spaces are on the highest level to prevent flood damage to finishes and possessions. This has the added bonus of raising the view from the house above the levee bank to make the most of the forest outlook.

Although the building was conceptually solid and a collection of boxes on all levels, negotiation with the local planning officers and water catchment authority resulted in some adjustments, such as opening the building below 1 in 100 year flood levels to minimise the impact on natural water flow. A pitched roof was also added to an upper floor box to gel with the surrounding hipped and gabled roofs.

Contractor: KGB Constructions
Year: 2013-2014
Site area: 1218 sq. m
Floor area: 532 sq. m

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