“To banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality.”
― John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice
Heather commenced the majority of restorative work in March 2015. She project led a team of local artisans in the building restoration process of Qiihouse and in the landscape design of its Japanese inspired Zen gardens. “The gardens were my own creation and were inspired by the forest integrity alongside the “magical” work of local stone man, Ben Sloane”. Erskine River bluestone, in combination with local volcanic quarry stone and “cannonballs” found on site were used. The entire process to this point took a year to complete.
Some of the trades were well known and trusted, like Gary Welsh Electrical and his team while others were handpicked from the Otway region, and brought invaluable local knowledge and insights to this project. Heather is also very thankful for the insights drawn from its original creators. Heather reflects that she enjoyed the process with passion and attempted a sympathetic approach in bringing the building back to life. The whole process was for “spontaneous reactive creations”; having no drawings but the whole process evolved as a kind of bonding between the building, the people and its beautiful wilderness environment. Shane Farrelly, a cabinetmaker from Kennet River did wonders to the red and yellow laminex by adding zincalom, slabs of oregon, the Lorne pier and even driftwood he found on a local beach for use as a mirror frame. It is reflected through out the house. In other words imagination and creativity flourished on the job. Heather is thrilled with the outcome and continues to pursue her vision with passion.
The next phase has commenced and is for the construction for a very large timber deck overhanging the hinterland. It will be built in the shape of an oriental fan.
Qii house showcases furniture designed by architects with the same fundamental principles used in building design and can be applied at a much smaller scale, resulting in pieces of furniture that embrace function, beauty and context to become objects of art. Iconic designs, including the timeless Eames Birds, and the ubiquitous Barcelona chair created by Mies van der Rohe for his acclaimed Barcelona Pavilion, the Diamond Chair, the comfy red wool Egg Chair, bright yellow Flowerpot lights; both organic pieces lovingly handmade sit alongside timeless icons and in harmony.
Qii house sunset deck is elevated and was completed in October 2016; by 2016 HIA award winning Coastyle. John Ekberg and his fabulous building team created an exhibit of floating state of art. It is mesmerising to draw in breathtaking views from multiple viewing points of surrounding panorama. Its shape reflects an oriental fan with splayed metal balustrading; spotted gum railings; a perfect place to park your favourite beverage upon amongst towering tree tops!
Heather is also thrilled about the lighting conjured to throw magic to the mix, underfloor deck lighting, floodlights to ignite the Zen landscape and the whimsical rainbow waterfall tree lights. Heather is eternally thankful for the great work ethic and creative skill offered by Paul and Geoff and Gary from Gary Welsh Electrical. “They kept me sane.” Heather reflects with a smile. It is amazing and an absolute joy to sit up until late in such ambience; a perfect viewing place to be one with Australian native bush life. Simple luxury. “Thank you.”