In the small Victorian town of Bonnie Doon, a new building that is quite different to its predecessors has emerged. Archiblox is the Australian architecture studio behind the graceful country abode that has set the new benchmark for sustainable, modular home design.
The family who purchased the land in 1981 had a considered home design in mind, one that would capture the essence of the Australian landscape and serenity of the area. Influenced by the Slow Design Movement, the Bonnie Doon house by Archiblox was designed to suit the lives of a multi-generational family in a way that is respectful of its environmental impact and natural surroundings.
The Slow Design Movement recognises that in this fast-moving world of the 21st century, we need spaces that encourage us to pause, be present, and truly connect with the landscape. With a focus on designing and constructing homes for the long term, the movement maintains that buildings should last hundreds of years and benefit the common good.
Perched high on the land with an outlook of the private dam, the four-bedroom abode captures panoramic views across almost every angle of the vast Australian terrain.
Built from sustainably sourced Australian timbers, the Bonnie Doon house was designed to complement its natural landscape both now and in the future. Its Victorian ash board-and-batten cladding and Tasmanian-oak decking will naturally weather with time, silvering off to create a rusticated effect.
The large open-plan kitchen, living and dining area provides generous space for the whole family to spend time together in. Whether stargazing at night with no light pollution, curling up with loved ones in front of the open fireplace, or dining out on the expansive timber deck on a warm summer’s night, the occupants will find that the house not only suits their lifestyle, but enhances it.
The Bonnie Doon house is a perfect example of a good-quality building that’s made with clean and healthy materials, and constructed with fair labour. Its interior and exterior utilise natural materials and colour palettes that are synonymous with the surrounding bushland. Not skimping on sustainable features, its responsible design includes a 4000L rainwater tank, window shading, double-glazed glass, low-VOC paints, efficient water fixtures, and ceiling fans, as well as high-grade wall, floor and ceiling insulation.
Created using Archiblox’s prefabrication model, which aims to touch the earth as lightly as possible, the home was made in the company’s Laverton facility and then transported to site on a truck to minimise impact on local biodiversity.
Turning traditional construction methods on their head, Archiblox has developed a more intelligent, sustainable and enjoyable way of building homes.
Photography by Tom Ross