The creation of boutique accommodation Ross Farm in Meeniyan, South Gippsland, began almost 15 years ago. Lindsay and Robyn Moore bought the 2.5-acre property in 2005, but it wasn’t until 2010, when renovating another place, that they temporarily moved into the 1960s cottage on the former dairy farm site. It was then that the idea to eventually transform the site into accommodation was realised.
Nine years later, the third and final building of Ross Farm is now complete. The entire project has been created as a collaboration between Lindsay and the couple’s daughter Andrea, who is, conveniently, the owner of design practice Studio Moore! The father-daughter duo designed and constructed as many elements as possible on-site, from the steel-framed windows, down to the finer details such as kitchen cabinetry, light fittings, and door hardware.
Lindsay is actually a semi-retired vet by trade, but Andrea describes him as a problem solver, inventor, entrepreneur and craftsman! ‘Dad always has a ‘can-do’ attitude, he loves a challenge and a project or two. He really encourages me to push the boundaries – no idea is too abstract or farfetched.’ Andrea says.
Once three separate buildings, The Dairy has been redesigned as a cohesive, three-bedroom structure. ‘Initially, we wanted to build within the existing building envelopes of the old dairy buildings that were on-site, but it was soon evident that we were dreaming, and it snowballed into a much bigger building project, largely re-building the existing structures!’ says Andrea.
One of the features that differentiates the building from the remainder of Ross Farm is the use of charred timber, created using a Japanese wood preservation technique called Shou Sugi Ban. Andrea and Lindsay deliberately avoided using plasterboard and paint throughout the new build, instead applying a mix of raw and refined materials. Marine ply was sourced to line the interior, travertine paving stones clad the bathroom and form the building blocks of the kitchen island bench, and raw brass tube was used for the light fittings.
Recycled products are a main feature in the bathroom, including the round concrete bath (a repurposed water trough!), and the sink – a backfilled drain pipe. Andrea and Lindsay were also careful to reuse older elements of the site, including concrete from the former cattle-yard, broken up to fill exterior walls.
The Dairy is especially meaningful to the father-daughter team, as their beloved wife and mother Robyn passed away from cancer during the project’s creation. ‘Fair to say it’s been very challenging to carry on without her, but it has also been a driving force to create something that she would be really proud of. Hopefully, we have achieved that,’ Andrea says.
The property forms the final piece of the now complete Ross Farm accommodation site, the three elements of which are available to rent individually or as a whole. ‘I really advocate that good design can really improve the way you live, so I hope that those that come and stay and experience the space feel that in some way, and perhaps take something with them that challenges their concept of what ‘home’ can be,’ Andrea says. ‘It really is a pretty special place.’
We featured Ross Farm property the Cabin back last year – revisit that story here! And stay tuned for our feature on the third Ross Farm dwelling, The Barn, which we’ll be sharing next week!