Project Sketches & Modelling


“We engaged AMG architects to assist with renovations, which required reworking both exterior finishes and interior layout to maximise the function for our family and taking advantage of the surrounding landscape and views. Raj was very attentive, flexible and diligent throughout our meetings, getting through council planning and approvals and was very responsive to any questions and amendments. He readily made himself available for consultation throughout the build when required. He offered creative solutions to difficult areas and developed a modern plan incorporating our preferences while staying within the sometimes-difficult sustainability guidelines. We have been extremely pleased with the finished result and would recommend AMG architects. Thank you Raj”

Welsh Renovation

Geelong Project

The design was a close collaboration between AMG Architect, the clients and their builder Ian Alford in renovating a modest 3-bedroom circa 1990’s Collier and Reid Architects country homestead into a larger, more practical, energy-efficient and bush-fire responsive contemporary family home.

Brief: Incorporate two new wings running 90-degrees to the original building: a master bedroom wing and kids wing. In effect, creating a U-shaped design with a central courtyard in between and almost twice the usable floor area to accommodate a large family and friends.

Key design features:

  • U-shaped design with separate master bedroom wing on the west side and kids wing on the east side, connected by the original homestead which runs west-to-east.
  • A central courtyard featuring a generous outdoor entertainment area, including a swimming pool, spa and landscaped gardens, all overlooking the Moorabool River which runs through Bannockburn.
  • Extensively landscaped gardens.
  • Open-plan central living area within the original homestead wing, which features raked ceilings with fully-restored exposed timber trusses and a modern kitchen, complete with Butler’s Pantry hidden behind.
  • Spotted Gum timber flooring in the main living and circulation spaces.
  • James Hardies Stria and Matrix compressed fibre-cement sheet cladding systems. (Extremely durable and suitable for a BAL-29 site).

Some of the key design decisions included:

  • Meticulous design to meet all of the new bushfire Australian Standards and regulations for a BAL-29 property.
  • By incorporating the west and east wings, helping to protect the north-facing outdoor entertainment spaces from the strong south and south-westerly winds.
  • Ensuring adequate natural light and ventilation to all areas of the house, including the main circulation spaces.
  • Open-plan living area and direct link through to the outdoor entertainment spaces on both the north and south sides of the house.

Ecologically sustainable design principles used:

  • 5-Star Energy Rating. (i.e. Minimal draughts and energy transference through the building fabric due to meticulous building methodologies and techniques combined with extensive use of natural wool insulation in walls, ceilings and roof and double-glazed windows with high performance energy films).
  • Recycled Spotted Gum timber flooring.
  • Strategic location of windows to capture natural sunlight and prevailing breezes to help light and ventilate the house, respectively.
  • Rain water storage for non-potable use; toilets, washing machine and gardens.
  • Sand-based, water-saving septic system.
  • Energy efficient appliances.

Project Time Frame

  • 6 months design and documentation (design and building drawings)
  • 12 months construction (house).
  • 5 months major landscaping (pool, courtyard, decks/pergolas and main gardens on the north and south sides of the house).

Project Budget

  • $900,000

AMG Architects were able to closely collaborate with the owners and their builder, to renovate a tired old architectural homestead and create an elegant, stylish, sophisticated yet practical, energy-efficient and bush-fire responsive country residence.


Written by Rebecca Gleghorn

Photography Stefan Young

Video by Karl Nemsow