Project 3: Village House

“Village house was built for purpose and designed with garden and landscaping in mind. It is an example of biophillic design at one with nature.”

  • Designed for a growing family, this home exemplifies the use of cladding and makes the most of natural light and its expansive views
  • Double glazing and strong insulation are featured, but not at the expense of aspect, so residents can open the house up to enjoy the outdoors
  • 3D computer modelling allowed the client to “walk” into each room and test the views before the build commenced

Designing a home for avid gardeners was no easy feat - what’s outside the house is just as important as what’s inside and sustainable measures make the house comfortable and reduce the long term environmental impact.

Village House, by GLOW Design Group, is a rural retreat located on a new estate close to Woodend in Victoria. The Eastern aspect is a view to Mount Macedon. It was sited to the Southern aspect of the land to allow optimal use of Northern aspect to enjoy. Garage and services were placed to the South and activity zone to the North. Generally cool conditions for most of the year meant that the design was looking at warmth and retaining solar heat gain in winter.

Though the estate lots are very large, this build is one of the first in the estate, so the design needed to look to the future to avoid views and sustainability features being blocked with further development in the estate.

The design response considered client needs for rooms and spaces, designing to their lifestyle and avid love for gardening. There was a set amount of rooms they required, for a growing family, and to allow for visitors from overseas.

The aspect was a prime concern in locating rooms. The aim was to have an easy travel from the garage to the butler’s pantry to unload groceries, connected straight into the kitchen. They desired a lounge separate to the main kitchen dining area, giving more intimate space. Bedrooms are in their own wing to keep sound out from the busy kitchen zone.

Open to all but the southern aspect, every room of the home interacts with the lush garden and its views of Mount Macedon including the Bi-fold bathroom windows that allow the residents to bathe in sunlight, while the living and dining spaces spill on to an expansive veranda making it a perfect space for entertaining.

The house was designed as a three-dimensional computer model with garden and trees included. The estate was looked at, the land mapped. Potential views and possible future building was studied before the commencement so that the design would allow for future screening of development.

The 3D computer modelling allowed the client to “walk” into each room and test the views and aspect, even do sun studies on the model so all the potential challenges were thought out before the house went to build.

To address the clients’ need for a home which pays homage to their affinity for gardening, the choice of materials was carefully considered. Materials excellence is demonstrated through the use of lightweight Hardieflex cladding and ‘Board & Batten’ style of hiding the joints.

The Hardieflex captures the sun’s rays to create shadows in unique ways to give the home a depth that would have otherwise been missing.

Sustainability Considerations

Woodend is in one of Victoria’s coolest climates, so thermally greater insulation needed to be provided.

The house was designed to aspect, using computer modelling of light and space to have larger volumes to the North and take in the sunlight. Designed to provide warmth in a cool climate. The warmth is assisted by use of exposed slab acting as thermal mass to the North. The heat is then retained through vast insulation R6 in ceiling, under slab insulation all windows double glazed with U value 3.5.

Very large litre water tank and vegetables are grown on site. Trees were chosen for their ability to screen in future and local species have been used.

GLOW Design Group has effortlessly designed Village House around the property’s outdoor elements, ensuring that its layout takes full advantage of its views while maintaining separate wings for future family members.

“Village House showcases what can be done with a durable, energy efficient material to achieve an interesting and beautiful design outcome for its residents. This new family home is unique, perfectly suited to its owners and built to last.” GLOW Design Group

Village House


Designer: GLOW Design Group,

Builder: Boyd Homes

Energy Rater: Green Energy Ratings

Structural Engineer: ARX Dusan Bosnjak

Landscape Designer: KM Landscape design

Photographer: Jack Lovel



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