Sawmill House in Victoria is made from recycled materials


This jaw-dropping home in the small tourist town of Yackandandah has undergone a hand-crafted upgrade that’s seamlessly blended the abode within the landscape in which it sits.

Once described as a “rustic bohemian” plot, the Sawmill House in Yackandandah has been transformed to become a modern-yet-impossibly-cosy family home.

The award-winning home is the work of brothers Ben Gilbert, builder, sculptor and founder of Agency of Sculpture, and Chris Gilbert, an architect at Archier.

“The Sawmill House demonstrates how Australia’s growing hoard of latent building materials can be used in new and innovative ways.” Picture: Ben Hosking

It’s situated on the site of an old sawmill that had fallen into remission in the late 90s.

The brothers worked hard to carry out their creative vision using recycled materials from around the local area.

Much of the home opens out to pockets of the landscape. Picture: Ben Hosking

“We used 270 recycled blocks to form the perimeter walls. Each block weighs around one tonne and are locally produced from the by-product of concrete slabs poured in the region,” the firm says in the project description.

“These blocks create a patchwork of colour and texture across the facades, as each block has a story; a bridge, a footpath, a home. This texture grounds the building in the site, as the layers of colour mimic the sedimentary layers of earth still exposed from the site’s former life as a gold mine.”

The recycled concrete blocks form the foundations of the home. Picture: Ben Hosking

The firm says the approach to the concrete blocks contributed to a much bigger dialogue around the concept of reusing and recycling materials, which encouraged them to investigate further into untapped resources.

Inside, the abode features a cosy tapestry of woods like red stringy bark and narrow leaf peppermint timbers, which look magical against the brass sheeting that runs along the entirety of the interior kitchen wall.

“We used brass sheeting throughout the kitchen for cabinetry, made hardwood floors from recycled locally felled trees and created our Highline pendants, positioned throughout the space,” the brothers say.

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How stunning is this kitchen detail? Picture: Ben Hosking

The home also embraces a unique connection to the land; the expansive deck that overlooks an old dam is easily made an extension of the open-plan living area with double-glazed doors that open out.

Large sections of the roof and façade have also been mechanised so that the owners can add and subtract natural light as the seasons shift.

When can we move in? Picture: Ben Hosking

This article was originally published as Sawmill House in Victoria is made from recycled materials by and is written by Katie Skelly.