Firewood & Candles by Rachcoff Vella Architecture

Firewood & Candlesdesigned by Rachcoff Vella Architecture is a project that pays elemental homage to a previous life. Rachcoff Vella set out to retain the raw and utilitarian nature of an agricultural building balanced with calm tones of a main ridge dawn. Photography by Tatjana Plitt.


The building envelope of concrete block walls retain the raw agricultural nature of the former dairy. The insertions within this envelope are joinery and furniture which are of a hand-made nature and are offset with a homogenous wash of calm muted grey tone stains and paints applied to re-used and reclaimed timbers. An intentional approach to reminisce about the rawness and beauty of a previous quintessential Australian architectural typology.
Nestled within the occupants are wrapped up by the soft internal underbelly, firewood burning alight, this inconspicuous outbuilding glows like a candle flickering in the distant winter mist.
Interior elements are layered against the more structured, utilizing natural colours and textures as seen in the clay, timber, coir and linens.
The bathroom pays homage to the dairy ‘coolroom’ offering a deliberate departure of crisp white awakening for an invigorating start to the day……warmed up by the rising morning sun at the higher level.
Bedrooms are a soft muted colour palette that offsets the dramatic tones of the Australian bush it is surrounded by. Offering shade and comfort from the harsh summer sun or shelter and protection during colder winter months, this cottage is about refuge and protection.

Firewood & Candles is a private sanctuary that echoes the lyrics of the Paul Kelly song bearing the same name:
“Firewood and candles
Making shadows on the wall
Is that the gods come to Earth?
Or a mule kicking in a stall.
Making these memories
Forever gonna keep us more,
When firewood and candles disappear in the storm.”

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