A stealth mission by a gathering of family and friends to rescue a front door from an Italian military camp is just one of the fine details Livi and Jennifer Krevatin of Select Structure paid attention to when creating this unique, natural stone home.
“The front door was knowingly, but secretly, removed from the derelict military camp in 2009 when we were living in Livi’s dad’s house across from the camp at Bane Trieste, Italy, for six months,” Jennifer said. “Several of the local village men, including Livi’s dad, Livi’s uncle and the camp caretaker, quietly and stealth-like, wheeled the door home on an old homemade trolley.”
Jennifer, meanwhile, stood guard to make sure no village residents caught them in the caper. “It was all a very big secret and incredibly funny.”
Actual construction of the home began in earnest in January of 2010, with Livi and Jennifer doing the bulk of the work themselves. Despite a serious accident in 2011 when Livi fell off the roof and broke his ribs, fractured his spine and suffered a collapsed lung, the house building continued after his recovery and they moved into the home in May 2014.
Situated on 40 acres of bush land at the base of the Tinderry Mountains, the home appears at once to be an unparalleled architectural feature that seamlessly fits in its natural surroundings. Natural materials are integrated into the home and make it part of the mountains. A five metre natural stonewall is the spine of the home, running from the front of the house, through the centre and then out the back. All rooms emanate from this wall and it provides the backdrop for many other features.
The couple went through four stone masons just to complete the wall and worked on it a considerable amount themselves to bring it to fruition. The accomplishment is one that will last a lifetime. The 5.4 metre high ceiling in the kitchen, living and dining area adds height inside a home that does not, from the outside, seem very large. The vast space inside highlights features of the home such as recycled timber from the National Botanical Gardens as well as the internal doors of solid timber that were custom made in Germany.
A home that is so a part of its environment cannot ignore its place within the eco-system and so this home features double glazed, thermally broken windows; solar hot water; photovoltaic electricity; hydronic heating throughout the home; LED lighting; induction cooking as well as bore water for irrigation outside.
The home itself is sparingly, yet comfortably furnished with a modern flair. Stairs seem to float alongside the stonewall to bring the visitor into the large, warehouse style ensuite master bedroom. Livi himself built the Hi Bar table in the cellar and a dining table from Carl Hansen and Sons, a Hans Wegner table, was designed in 1962.
Modern pendant lights and stools line the kitchen’s long, slender island that runs almost the width of the room, while artwork commissioned from Jane Crawford, Megan Schliebs, Charlotte Goldspink and Janine Terzi add colour and spark to the intimate, natural surroundings.
Classic lines and modern effects lend themselves to this natural atmosphere in the bush, making this award-winning home a stunning example of man living with nature – rather than conquering it.
Builder: Select Structure