Burnbank Homestead

Burnbank, Victoria, 2015

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Pollen was engaged by Joanne and Rodney Brooke to develop a master plan and implementation strategy for their rural property in Burnbank, North-West Victoria. This rural homestead on over eighty acres includes a vineyard, small winery and nut orchards. The main house sits on a hilltop with commanding views over the entire property.

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The Brooke homestead consists of four main buildings: the main house, the cottage, the winery/workshop and the shearing shed. The Brooke family has plans to make the cottage available as a bed and breakfast accommodation. A key motivation for commissioning the master plan was to consider the experience of their guests as they arrive and ensuring adequate privacy during their stay.

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Through a series of informal on site discussions we developed a landscape strategy around clever re-use of site material and incorporation of readily available local materials to make minor adjustments for the biggest impact.

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The homestead is part of a working farm with a collection of machinery, farming/viticulture apparatus and surplus materials stored across the site. We took a curatorial approach, proposing a reduction and redistribution of some visually prominent storage spaces that would have a positive visual impact on the heart of the homestead. It is hoped this minor adjustment will improve the first impressions of guests and contribute to the day-to-day operation of the farm.

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Bushfire is an ever-present reality of this bush environment. As active members of the CFA for over 35 years, the Brookes are well equipped for bushfire defence. The master plan had to include, and where possible, enhance landscape defence opportunities for the homestead. This was mainly achieved through the plotting of required fire truck access and fire retardant plantings and landscape materials.

Rodney and Joanne have already started implementing the master plan, confident in the overall vision and key outcomes.

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