Brae is a contemporary restaurant located on a farm outside of Birregurra in country Victoria, a town of 800 people. Since its inception in December 2013, Brae has acquired a global culinary tourism audience because of its cutting edge cuisine and homegrown, sustainable practices.

And now Brae clientele have even more opportunity to relish the culinary expertise of chef Dan Hunter, as Six Degrees Architects have created six guest suites next to the restaurant.

These guest suites are idiosyncratic of the Brae style, mixing ‘contemporary cool’ with local traditions to create an atmosphere that exudes luxury and homeliness; urban chic and country warmth.

This balance act was inspired by a 1980s architectural theory called critical regionalism, which calls for the creation of modern forms out of site specific materials and the use of construction systems appropriate to the local climate. Lessons from the building tradition of the area are used without imitating past styles.

Six Degrees Architects began its project with the refurbishment of the Brae restaurant, which involved the blending of the vernacular farmhouse with a modern restaurant interior. The nineteenth century windows and ceiling were maintained to complement the buildings restrained and simple fit out.

The six guest suites, meanwhile, were created from scratch with an ethos of DIY self sufficiency.

Bespoke fittings, joinery elements, welded steel and solid timber were crafted by hand rather than selected from a catalogue. The ceramics were made by clay sourced at the property, and the glaze was sprinkled with ash from the wood fire oven in the restaurant.

Rhys Lee, who lived in Birreguerra, created murals  for the interior of the rooms to give each a unique identity rather than mimic the neutral safety of typical hotels.

The front courtyards are minimally separated, allowing guests to mingle with each other, while the rear balconies facing the distant views are private and secluded.

The hillside over which the suites reside is almost ‘sickeningly Australian’, and tourists are certain to be delighted by the gum trees, sheep and endless grassy fields.

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