LowE Plus with Clear for highest clarity and visible light transmittance – while also excellent Insulation performance (low U-Value).


  • Outer: 4,5,6mm Clear Toughened
  • Spacer: Argon Gas + WarmEdge Spacers
  • Inner: 4,5,6mm LowE Plus Toughened

Site Address

Ivanhoe East, VIC 3079

Fabricator / Installer

Binq Windows


Resicon Master Builders



Photos courtesy of

Sharyn Cairns



Contrasting Desires and Environmental Considerations.

This 320-square-metre, 4-bedroom home, beside and overlooking Yarra River parklands, presented several challenges. The clients, a family of five, envisioned a home harmonising contrasting aspirations for a traditional country house and a contemporary ‘underground’ home. The clients aimed to optimise their connections with private outdoor spaces and the landscape beyond.

They also wanted to ensure the house was highly energy efficient through northeastern Melbourne’s distinct seasons, characterised by mild to hot summers and cooler winters, with significant diurnal temperature ranges.



Design Director Chris Gilbert describes Archier’s approach of embedding the house within its landscape, creating a seamless transition between the built environment and its natural setting. “We pushed the design into the ground so from the street above, you have a view of the river parklands over and through the new home’s design,” Gilbert explains. This philosophy included making the home “an extension of the vegetation around the river rather than an object placed into it.”

The design reconciled the dichotomy of client aspirations – Archier has set a gabled, black slate-clad main bedroom wing below, within, and above a series of naturalised gardens that top different levels of the home. Their design met the clients’ aesthetic and functional desires and was critical to the home’s thermal performance. “You are living under a canopy of vegetation,” Gilbert notes.

The home’s architectural design uses extensive high-performance glazing to invite light and views and connect indoor and outdoor environments. “Strategic glazing allows the family to be together but also apart, with parents able to see their children without the volume,” Gilbert mentions. This consideration was crucial in creating an open and connected home that also provided spaces of retreat and tranquillity.

Large sliding doors that open to unite mirrored internal and external window seats further emphasise the home’s seamless indoor and outdoor transitions.

Central to the project was using energy-efficient materials and design principles to ensure the home remained cool in summer and warm in winter without heavy reliance on artificial heating and cooling systems. Gilbert and his team chose Binq timber double-glazed windows and doors with AGG LowE Plus, boasting a Total System 1.5 U-Value and 0.49 SHGC. “It was a no-brainer to use AGG glass here… The insulated glazing works so well that the family can use the internal window seats year-round without discomfort,” Gilbert says.

The home’s substantial thermal mass, achieved through the extensive use of concrete, sunken sections and green roofs, stabilises indoor temperatures throughout the year. Deep eaves were employed to protect window glazing from the harsh summer sun while allowing for direct sunlight in winter.

Archier has used the site’s dual street access, above and below, to provide separate street access for adult children; including a lift core is another future-proofing element.

The project exemplifies how intelligent architectural design can overcome complex challenges, marrying clients’ contrasting desires with environmental sustainability. Through Archier’s innovative approach, the home showcases the potential to create deeply personal and environmentally conscious spaces. The result is a forever house that provides for the family’s current needs and is adaptable for future generations, ensuring a lasting legacy within the unique landscape of this rare Yarra park neighbourhood.

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