BDAV inaugural '10 Star Challenge' win









Lifehouse Design, in association with Crosby Architects and Lewin Consulting, were announced winners of the BDAV's inaugural '10 Star Challenge' at a gala dinner at Zinc at Federation Square in Melbourne on Friday 29th July, for the Flip_Flop House.


The house, rated 10 Stars, is based on passive-solar design principles and standard building materials and sizes to minimise waste during construction.  It does not need active heating and cooling. The house is also designed for social sustainability by adapting to ongoing lifestyle changes of occupants - it suits a single family, smaller family with teenager's pad or granny flat, two or three separate apartments... all with separate private gardens. 


See our Projects page for pics...  And also Sanctuary magazine, Issue 16, for a rundown on the shortlisted entries by Tim Adams. BDAV's website - 



Speed Dating with Sanctuary - Design:Made:Trade in July

Lifehouse Design was one of ten leading sustainable architects and designers who participated in Speed Dating with Sanctuary at the Melbourne Exhibition Buildings on July 17, as part of the State of Design Festival's Design:Made:Trade event.  Sanctuary readers brought along plans and ideas to discuss with one or more of the architects/designers in a fun and interactive environment.  It was fast - 10 minute consultations - and noisy, but hugely successful: it received the gong from The Design Files for 'Most Popular' event at Design:Made:Trade.  See highlights of the event at

Munro Court on Treehugger

Sanctuary magazine featured an article on our Munro Court project's houses and communal gardens in Issue 10 this year (article by Fiona Negrin, photography by Rachel Pilgrim and Andrew Lecky).  Treehugger ran some excerpts and photos from it recently...  Have a look at:



For us Uruguay was an enigma, a small country of some 3 million people, an almost secretive republic, nestled between two giants – Argentina to the West and Brazil to the North. Besides its diminutive size, it boasts some quite amazing achievements - two football World Cups, a few football World Club champions, a couple of football Olympic  Gold medals, star football was about now that we decided to find out what else happens in Uruguay besides football.

Some quick research informed us that perhaps this part of the world had a bit of history behind it, maybe even more than we imagined. For example, Uruguay instituted free education before England, women’s rights before France, the eight hour working day before the United States, divorce before Spain, and is considered the third most sustainable country in the world, according to the Environmental Sustainability Index.

Sustainable? That’s good, here’s something we at Lifehouse Design are really interested in...

 What makes such a small, relatively economically poor country rank only below Finland and Norway and above Sweden and Iceland, not to mention every other economically well off country?


flag of Republica Oriental Del Uruguay

Trip to the Rio De La Plata

So after a year and a half of Danilo filling our heads with anecdotes, comparisons and stories of his recent year in Uruguay (where?), the rest of the Lifehouse team was ready to ask him very politely to shut up. It must have been around this time that he started to take the hints and bored nods we had started to give him for he suddenly stopped talking about the beloved country of his birth. We started to worry, maybe we’d hurt his feelings with our growing lack of interest in his stories about great food, great climate, great architecture, and of course great football skills. It was around this time that very quietly Danilo informed us that for his end of year break he was returning to Uruguay, he still had to organise a place to stay but he had booked the tickets for himself and his daughter Sabine. The timing was right for him to go and within a day or two he had organised a house in his favourite town. Paul and Robyn where planning their own holiday at the time when Danilo had a ludicrous suggestion -  “Why don’t you guys come along? The house is big enough, and we don’t have to hang out together all the time.” And so our five week adventure to some far off, fairly unknown place, except for some rude The Simpsons joke and some vague World Cup qualifying matches, began.


Friend –         “So, where are you going for your holidays?”

Us –              “Uruguay”

Friend –         “Uh.....great.......where?”

Us –              “Uruguay”

Friend-          “Ahh, Paraguay, did you know...”

Us-                “No, not Paraguay, URUGUAY”

Friend-          “Where’s that?”


dingo having a siesta