Australia’s Archiblox brings the Slow Design Movement to the suburbs


Hidden in the small Victorian town of Bonnie Doon, a new building that is quite different to its predecessors has emerged. Acquired in 1981, the family purchased the land with a considered space 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, built by Archiblox, was designed to suit the lives of a multigenerational 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, particularly in cities, we need spaces that encourage us to pause, be present and truly connect. The Movement takes the long view regarding design and construction, believing that buildings should last hundreds of years and benefit the common good.bonnie-doon-house-5_preview

This 4 bedroom country home is just that; perched high on the land with an outlook of the private dam, capturing panoramic views across almost every angle of the vast Australian landscape. During summer, the wind sweeps across the dam, bringing a welcoming cool breeze across the deck area, filtering through the windows into the home.

Built from sustainably sourced Australian timbers, Bonnie Doon pays ode to its natural landscape, both now and for years to come. The Victorian Ash board and batten cladding and Tasmanian Oak decking will naturally weather with time, silvering off to create a rusticated effect. This is juxtaposed against the vertical Colorbond corrugated sheet cladding, creating a successful contrast of texture and materiality.bonnie-doon-house-kitchen_preview

The large open-plan kitchen and living-dining room of the Bonnie Doon house provides generous space for the whole family to spend time together. Whether stargazing at night with no light pollution, curling up with the family in front of the open fireplace, or dining out on the expansive timber deck in the warm summer’s night – this house is designed for life.

The Bonnie Doon House promotes good quality buildings, made with clean healthy materials and built with fair labour. The space, clearly connected and synonymous with its environment, utilises natural materials and colour palettes to compliment the surrounding Australian bushlands. Sustainable features of this home include a large 4000L water tank for rainwater re-use, double glazed windows, window shading, low VOC paints, high-grade insulation to walls, floor and ceiling, efficient water fixtures, and ceiling fans.bonnie-doon-house-7_preview

With a construction methodology to touch the earth lightly, the impact on local biodiversity was minimised by using Archiblox’s prefabrication model; the home was constructed in the Laverton facility and then transported to site on a truck. Archiblox is turning traditional building methods on its head producing a smarter, highly sustainable and above all, enjoyable way of building.bonnie-doon-house-1