When Peter McIntyre designed the Victorian alpine village of Dinner Plain circa 1985-1987, it was the first time a town had been created in the state since the gold rush.
The structure of the village buildings inspired by cattlemen huts across Victoria’s High Country region remains unique today, and the town is a popular tourist destination especially during snow season.
A keen skiing family purchased one of the chalets 20 years ago and recently engaged Britt White Studio to design a renovation. The brief was to make the property more functional and luxurious, while respecting McIntyre Partnerships’ original design.
‘It was of primary importance to respect and pay homage to the pioneer of Australian alpine architecture,’ says Britt Howard, director and chief creative officer of Britt White Studio.
‘Honouring his concept of “emotional functionalism” was at the core of the renovation, along with the original material selection being built of stone, timber, corrugated iron. My design heroes the magnificent original stone fireplace, the raked timber ceilings, and even some of the smaller features and details like the heritage custom wall sconces.’
The renovation features a newly redesigned kitchen containing pastel pink joinery and more storage. The integrated fridge was moved to the shorter wall of the kitchen, allowing space for a wood box, pantry, wall mounted TV, and hidden games storage.
The kitchen honours the original McIntyre Partnerships’ colour palette while also drawing inspiration from the nearby snow gum featuring dusty rose pinks, soft greys, greens, and warm woods.
Taking a leaf out of the surrounding alpine environment, the bathroom was also completely redesigned in a grey and green colour palette.
The home evokes a sense of nostalgia while providing both engagement with and protection from the outside elements. At its heart, colours have been carefully selected to bring the outdoors in, with organic elements and repeated patterns delivering a sense of calm and serenity.
The result is a fresh, modern haven designed for modern living and worthy of the building’s heritage.
‘Having the opportunity to design a fun and colourful, yet considered insertion under the beams of a McIntyre Partnerships’ design was both an honour and a privilege,’ says Britt. ‘It’s a contemporary take on Australian alpine design that I hope will sit on the positive side of opinion now and in the future.’