Off Grid House by Archier is a celebration of family and the surrounding landscape.
The property was designed as a holiday house for clients who were familiar with this regional Victorian location, but had recently sold a farm that had been in their family for generations. So when a block of empty land in the same area came up for sale, they seized the opportunity to create somewhere new for their extended family to reconnect.
Archier design director Chris Gilbert says the practice looked to the environment for inspiration. Traditionally, families from this area gathered at the local churches, which influenced the home’s sweeping scale, in addition to the architectural gables.
‘We drove the concept with the church motif as a reference,’ Chris says. ‘The client loved gables, so we maximised them. They love how the pitch draws your eye up to the canopy of the trees.’
This striking element allowed them to capture views on each side of the home, including the creek at the bottom of the valley to the ridgeline of the surrounding mountains. The origami roofline also seeks to reflect the location’s rippling topography, creating spaces of epic proportions inside, with playful bunk beds nestled into the resulting voids upstairs — ensuring it had enough room to sleep 12 people.
Sustainability was another key focus of the project. Chris says it was an easy decision to design the home to operate off-grid, as it was more cost effective than running main power to the site.
‘The dwelling is fully electric, powered by a solar array connected to a 40KW battery,’ he adds.
The house was specially engineered and designed to use the smallest amount of Australian hardwood for the project, featuring glue-laminated timber that was sustainably produced from the same species of trees found on the land.
‘The timber structure brings us a lot of joy, it provides the space ornamentation, warmth and texture while preforming the critical task of holding the roof up,’ Chris says of the construction. ‘This building represents the best of us, restrained, calm, beautiful and timeless.’
Off Grid House is enhanced by personal touches created by the owners themselves, who hand-built the endearing ceramic basins, wall lights and kitchen tiles, and even worked on the external cladding. With plans to revive the gardens over time, they’ve already created something special to be enjoyed for generations to come.