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Client: Wilderness School

Location: Medindie, SA

Completed: 2016



Steve Grieve

Michael Buchtmann

Emma Scott

Elizabeth Little

Jaana Bithell

Brown’s House, located centrally within Wilderness School, was historically home to the Brown Family and accommodated both boarders and day girls. The redevelopment needed a grand gesture, something to re-establish Brown’s House as the heart of the School community, and to create a welcoming and impressive entry to the School.

Drawing on the School’s motto ‘Semper Verus’, meaning “Always True”, the preceding ill-conceived additions were demolished, stripping back the multitude of layers to reveal base material finishes and fabric, restoring the ‘true’ form of Brown’s House. 

The architectural approach was one of simplicity and elegance. The new building, which touches the existing fabric ever so lightly with minimal physical connections, has been inserted between and under three existing buildings of varying ages and character.


The refined and elegant interiors were a result of the interplay of internal and external spaces. This provided a natural palette as a reference point for interior development, and the selected carpet was a response to the exposed stone walls and repetition of the timber balusters, reminiscent of trees in the wilderness. Originating from the Drawing Room, remaining in original condition, the selection of interior finishes creates a place to pause and reflect with an intimate, less corporate feel.

Grieve Gillett Architects has delivered an administrative function that meets 21st century requirements. Brown’s House is again a central meeting place for the school, a place that celebrates a rich history, and draws people together to create new memories.

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