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Kiah House

Architect: Austin Maynard Architects

City of Yarra | R09

Influenced by their travels to the Buddhist retreats of Kyoto and Koyasan, the design for Kiah House responds to the clients’ desire for peace and mindfulness within suburbia. The owners had a clear idea of what a home meant to them: a sanctuary. They wanted somewhere light and airy to entertain friends and family, and in which to relax, work from home and meditate. Once a tired and cold weatherboard cottage bursting at the seams, Kiah House is now a high-performing sustainable home. Although the site is small, natural light and air have been maximised to all spaces. The openings and windows have been designed to optimise passive solar gain with double glazed windows; a green roof covered in Australian native succulents provides additional insulation; and a rainwater tank captures roof water which is re-used in the toilets and to water the garden. The retreat includes a sunken brick bathroom featuring an earthy character similar to the ancient Japanese Onsen. A strong connection to a small private garden, created in the gap between the new addition and the old house, offers a relaxed feeling of bathing within the landscape. Kiah is an indigenous word meaning ‘beautiful place’ and for the owners, the house is exactly that.

Need to Know

  • Open: Thursday 3 & Thursday 1 January 10am-4pm - Booking required for this building

  • What's Open: All parts of the building

  • Special Note: Park prams at front door. Children under adult supervision at all times. Remove high heels. Access to roof garden is weather permitting and under supervision.

  • Tour Type: R09

  • Tour Details: First release Friday 13 July 8:30 am until booked out, second release Friday 20 July 8:30 am until booked out, small booking fee applies. Tours at 10:30am, 13:30pm, 15:30pm, running for 45 minutes, in groups of 20

  • Access: Pram accessible, Limited mobility

  • Building Type: Residential

  • Facilities: Toilets

  • Year Built: 2016

  • Website:

  • Transport: Tram stop 23: Miller street on route 96

  • Photo Credit: Gallant Lee Photography


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