When: December 2011 - January 2013

Location: Piries (Mansfield)

Team: Ammon Beyerle, Michelle Emma James, Caitlyn Parry, Liling Kong

Michael and Kayo moved to Mansfield from Perth in 2010 to become self-sufficient, slow down and get connected to the land. Spirituality is important for Michael and Kayo, and the 5-acre site they call 'Riverview' has a very special energy and is beautiful. The existing house sits on an elevated man-made plateau overlooking a bend in Delatite River. They chose the site "because of its capacity for sustainability, permanent water supply, proximity (and distance) to Mansfield and Melbourne, proximity to Mt Buller, and because of its Zen essence" (Michael + Kayo).

The existing house faces due north, has single glazing, asbestos and poor insulation. In its current state it is especially cold in winter. It was originally built in the 1950s but renovated in 2009 in rendered brick, plastered stud walls and stone tiles. There is an adjacent cottage that needs to be incorporated into the house, which is currently Michael's very intimate acupuncture clinic. See Zen Acupuncture The project is to make the house more comfortable, inspiring, larger in a few places and overall, thermally effective.

here studio met Michael and Kayo in December 2011, introduced through Caitlyn's close friend Uschi. Caitlyn has been going to Mansfield for many years to relax, it was the first visit for Michelle and Ammon. From the beginning we all focused on a common foundation of principles including openness and trust. We shared a sense of not wanting to be wasteful and finding inspiration through feng shui principles, spiritual metaphors, Japanese architecture, and details that describe a close connection to nature outside of the home.

We have been working iteratively with Michael and Kayo through series of options, weekend-getaway collaborative design sessions gesturing on-site, skype meetings and face-to-face meetings. We have structured the contract in a way that allows us all to make the most of Michael and Kayo's participation in the design process, local contacts, recycled materials and potential self-building. We aim to break ground in early spring.

The starting concept was drawn on a napkin describing a transition along a dragon's back from the mountain temple to the sea. Instead of demolishing and starting anew, we are working to retain almost the entirety of the existing house including using existing openings and most of the current rooms.

Michael and Kayo are managing the construction phase. They have sent us these photos.

(last update 10/5/13)


When: December 2011 - January 2013

Location: Piries (Mansfield)

Team: Ammon Beyerle, Michelle Emma James, Caitlyn Parry, Liling Kong

Michael and Kayo moved to Mansfield from Perth in 2010 to become self-sufficient, slow down and get connected to the land. Spirituality is important for Michael and Kayo, and the 5-acre site they call 'Riverview' has a very special energy and is beautiful. The existing house sits on an elevated man-made plateau overlooking a bend in Delatite River. They chose the site "because of its capacity for sustainability, permanent water supply, proximity (and distance) to Mansfield and Melbourne, proximity to Mt Buller, and because of its Zen essence" (Michael + Kayo).

The existing house faces due north, has single glazing, asbestos and poor insulation. In its current state it is especially cold in winter. It was originally built in the 1950s but renovated in 2009 in rendered brick, plastered stud walls and stone tiles. There is an adjacent cottage that needs to be incorporated into the house, which is currently Michael's very intimate acupuncture clinic. See Zen Acupuncture The project is to make the house more comfortable, inspiring, larger in a few places and overall, thermally effective.

here studio met Michael and Kayo in December 2011, introduced through Caitlyn's close friend Uschi. Caitlyn has been going to Mansfield for many years to relax, it was the first visit for Michelle and Ammon. From the beginning we all focused on a common foundation of principles including openness and trust. We shared a sense of not wanting to be wasteful and finding inspiration through feng shui principles, spiritual metaphors, Japanese architecture, and details that describe a close connection to nature outside of the home.

We have been working iteratively with Michael and Kayo through series of options, weekend-getaway collaborative design sessions gesturing on-site, skype meetings and face-to-face meetings. We have structured the contract in a way that allows us all to make the most of Michael and Kayo's participation in the design process, local contacts, recycled materials and potential self-building. We aim to break ground in early spring.

The starting concept was drawn on a napkin describing a transition along a dragon's back from the mountain temple to the sea. Instead of demolishing and starting anew, we are working to retain almost the entirety of the existing house including using existing openings and most of the current rooms.

Michael and Kayo are managing the construction phase. They have sent us these photos.

(last update 10/5/13)