September 26, 2023
Devlin Azzie of
Three Fold Studio
Dinner Plain Alpine Village is one of Australia’s most unique towns. Nestled amongst snowgums and located just a stone’s throw away from the alpine resort of Mount Hotham, it sits above the snowline yet outside the boundaries of the Alpine National Park. In the 35 or so years since its creation, DP (as it is affectionately referred to by locals) has become a much loved four season location for outdoorsy types – catering to skiers and snowboarders through the winter plus mountain biking, hiking and more through the rest of the year.
Architect Peter McIntyre, the pioneer of Australian alpine architecture, was the driving force behind Dinner Plain, developing the masterplan and vernacular of the town. Inspired by the characteristics of old cattlemen’s huts, Peter and the team at McIntyre Partnership were also the architects of the original buildings of the alpine community, including Blairs Chalet.
Constructed in the early 1980s, this modest building has changed little, acting as the second home for a family of skiers from Melbourne, hosting their most memorable adventures. 40 years on, Britt White Studio (an interior designer firm from Bright) were commissioned to renovate the interior, briefed to develop modern living spaces for entertainment and play in a design that honours the original architecture.
Like the original structures of Dinner Plain, Blairs is built of stone, timber, corrugated iron and boasts a magnificent original stone fireplace with a raked Douglas Fir ceiling throughout. Keeping the most prominent features intact, inspiration for the renovation was drawn from the bark of the surrounding snow gums, visible from the chalet’s living spaces. Shades of pink, purple, red, grey and green were paired with brass throughout the design.
Britt worked with local artisans, craftspeople and trades to breathe new life into the chalet with a full renovation of the kitchen and bathroom, replacing flooring and upholstery, whilst curating vintage furniture and objects, alongside contemporary Australian furniture. Keeping the existing exoskeleton, the new interior imbues a fresh sense of warmth and energy, perfect for entertaining friends and family once the action on the slopes is wrapped up for the day. “We’re incredibly proud of Blairs. The new interior truly is a haven for the family – wrapped up in a rugged shell that keeps the elements out and the warmth inside, no matter the season.”
For the owners, and those fortunate enough to rent the chalet for their next vacation, Blairs elicits a sense of fun, full of texture and colour…just like all the best experiences of a life experienced in Australia’s alpine environment.