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A Converted Rural Retreat Like No Other!

Architecture

We have featured some incredible converted spaces on TDF before… but have never come across a home quite like this! The Nak takes its name from the building’s previous identity – a knackery for the removal and cleaning of animal carcasses!

We chat with Jerry Wolveridge of Wolveridge Architects about this unconventional home, collaborating with clients, and the joy of great design.

18th September, 2018

‘The Nak’ by Wolveridge Architects in Trafalgar, Gippsland. Photo – Albert Comper.

This incredible conversion gets its name from the building’s original purpose…a knackery for the removal and cleaning of animal carcasses. Photo – Albert Comper.

‘All construction work was done by friends and family, who all camped out during the course of the works,’ explains Jerry Wolveridge. Photo – Albert Comper.

The gorgeous open-plan home makes the most of the location’s natural splendour. Photo – Albert Comper.

The positive architect-client relationship made ‘The Nak’ a joy to design and build. Photo – Albert Comper.

The elevated kitchen/dining zones are separated from the sunken living area. Photo – Albert Comper.

The view from the kitchen. Photo – Albert Comper.

The house has been designed to promote a connection to the bush. Photo – Albert Comper.

The open-plan mezzanine bedroom with private bathroom. Photo – Albert Comper.

Industrial-heritage-meets-contemporary-design. Photo – Albert Comper.

A bright colour pop in the blue staircase against the honeyed interior. Photo – Albert Comper.

All angles of the property enjoys spectacular bush views! Photo – Albert Comper.

Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 18th September 2018

‘All construction work was done by friends and family, who camped out during the course of the works.’ – Jerry Wolveridge.

Jerry Wolveridge of Wolveridge Architects describes The Nak home as a ‘rural adaptive reuse project of some extreme’, and we really have to agree! This property began its life as a knackery (click through with caution if squeamish) and this heritage remained materially evident in some of the design ‘features’ of the site. Jerry explains his first visit to the site as an unforgettable experience, complete with ‘an existing open trench, located in the middle of the floor, presumably for the blood and guts.’

Incredibly, both Jerry and the visionary clients could see the potential of the building, located in the forest edges of Trafalgar, in Victoria’s Gippsland. Jerry describes the property as a ‘rudimentary masonry block industrial building, with a terrific scale and highlight windows.’ This robust form provided the opportunity for a ‘budget driven insertion’ to convert the knackery into a getaway for the owners – an artistic pair not afraid of a challenge!!

The Nak has been designed to promote a connection to the bush, offering simple liveability, through an open plan mezzanine bedroom with private bathroom. The bedroom peeps out onto the tree canopy, and natural light is encouraged in through clever cutting into the pre-existing blockwork. The space maintains a strong sense of its industrial heritage, but sits firmly in a contemporary design aesthetic.

Jerry highlights the significant role of the clients in this collaborative project, where ‘all construction work was done by friends and family who all camped out during the course of the works.’ (Imagine the campfire stories!). Jerry also highlighted the joy of the design process in developing The Nak, where decisions were largely made on site/on the run/in meetings. He enthuses ‘I think we now put so much energy into the detailing of our projects, which sometimes we could question, so the Nak is a reminder of the fun and enjoyable parts of our job.’

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The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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