Organic architecture is on the rise in Australia - more and more homes are being designed to respond meaningfully to the environment that surrounds them.
For host of Grand Designs Australia Peter Maddison, organic architecture is one of the most interesting residential design movements surfacing within Australia.
The concept involves architecture that promotes a level of harmony between human habitation and the natural world - buildings with a stronger connection to the locale they inhabit.
"Architecture today has become very regionally based," explains Peter. "Buildings are more meaningfully connected to their climate and location."
More than vertical wall gardens, earthy tones, or a humble backyard veggie patch, architects designing in this style are eliminating the environmental impact of their structures, and ensuring they give back or compliment the environment and local ecosystem in some way.
For example, the multi-award-winning Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture was constructed of materials sympathetic to the local area. Built into a ridgeline near the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, the stunning home features off-form concrete, Mudgee tiger skin stack stone, fine steel, hoop pine and form ply, raw brass and copper, fencing wire and star pickets.
The Invisible House
The result is that the home blends into the surrounding vista, becoming almost invisible, as its name suggests.
"There’s a new awareness about getting materials – buildings are being made using locally sourced and recycled supplies," Peter continues.
Daylesford Long House - a Grand Designs Australia home - was lovingly dreamt up and built over six years, on a sizeable plot of land near Daylesford in Victoria. The 100m-long shed gives new meaning to the idea of indoor-outdoor living, reacting to the land around it, with architect Timothy Hill drawing all elements of farm life into one central structure.
Daylesford Long House
Inside the sprawling home is space for animals (alpacas, geese, pigs, hens, cows, and more), a huge organic vegetable garden, lodgings for visiting friends, and an apartment for owners Ronnen and Trace that's insulated to an incredible international environmental standard.
Sort of like a giant greenhouse, the couple are able to control the environment inside the shed naturally, and the home's flourishing garden makes the home self-sufficient and gives back to the local community.
"There’s a sense of humbleness, a tactile quality, and truthfulness in architecture," Peter adds.