Architects: Architect Brew Koch     Photography: Thurston Empson     Construction Period:  2023     Location:  Victoria, Australia

The Title deed that we now possess would have originally been given for little or no cost on the basis that the holder demonstrated “improvement” of the land that it described. Here that meant removing the trees and “improving” the pastures, erecting fences and excluding those who had, in ways that remain obvious today, dwelt on this land from the beginning.

If we acknowledge that a building has been built on contested land, this project for a new house perhaps should have been the subject of a disciplinary hearing by the Institute of Architects according to their Charter, and we would wish to make this case: This is not an extension, which would mean that we have sought to maintain or continue the current situation of dispossession of illegal occupation. It may be an alteration, as we have sought to remove fences, to stop grazing the land and to remove improvements from the land. We might think about this as unsettling.

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Through the use of covents and agreements that have been fashioned on the site in the models used by financial institutions, we have effectively diminished its value. It is now worth less, and our program is to continue to diminish the area used for farming until there is no value in the property and the relationship with the land is simply that we care for it.

Text provided by the architect.