We built a prototype passive house on the Bass Coast. Using a fast build prefab modular system.  Architecture which won a “Good Design Award”, which was designed for comfort, and which had a certain look.

Images are on this site.  From the start we knew that this was a base line building.  Getting the passive house system right.  In a truly modernist way: form follows function.

We knew that people would be able to dress up a Superpod building inside and out to whatever their taste.

Some people love the unadorned look.  Others don’t.

Personally, I like a certain kind of architecture.  I like plain, streamlined, unadorned.  Many iconic examples exist: Le Corbusier, Mies Van der Rohe, Eames.  To me, simplicity can be beautiful.  My son wants to live in a concrete box.  Just ‘cos it looks cool to him.

Take, for example, a local architecture team Garner Davis.  Jill Garner is the Victorian Government Architect.  I’m stoked.  She and Lindsay Davis designed my parents’ home over 10 years ago.  We chose them because we love their style.  Simple, clean, understated.  Although, in this blog’s feature photo, with the light and shadows, the facade is looking quite complex!

Check out some more Garner Davis examples.

Garner Davis building example

A couple of years ago I was talking to Lindsay about the concept of “facadism”.  He didn’t like it.  I see his point.  But what does it mean?

And how does the average person (such that they exist) respond to a facade of a building?


We have a bit of a problem, Houston.  A tendency to judge based on looks alone.  Something looks gorgeous, looks shiny, looks colourful – we assume it is beautiful.

Take people.  Some people are models.  Some people could be models.  They might be soooo popular because of their beauty.  Even if it’s only one botox-induced look.  (One look?  Says Derek in “Zoolander”.)

Only when we get to know that person who looked so fine do we discover that their character might be flawed.  They might be an empty person, dishonest, promising something exciting that just doesn’t exist.

Same with buildings.  We might look at the pretty pictures and say, oh, wow, I want that house, that apartment, that office building.  It looks so awesome, so architectural, so well designed.  So pretty.

Then we get inside, and the allure might just fade.  Inside the building is too cold, too hot, too drafty, mouldy, moist, dry, hard to heat, hard to cool, full of contaminants, generating high power bills.

Do you really want a relationship with that building?

The building is only full of empty promises.  It is dishonest.  It promised beauty and gave us illness and discomfort.

The problem is, when you buy a building, you are not buying a picture of a building that sits on the wall.  You are not buying architectural photography or magazine covers.

You are buying a space to live in – a space that should be comfortable, healthy, and low on energy consumption.  A space that should protect, nurture, inspire.  That should be part of its beauty.

Check this out, especially 2.10-2.50.  Beautiful, inspiring, intelligent.

Body movement on youtube

“Concentration on aesthetics is reverse engineering.  Which usually fails…. It’s similar to a nose that is not meant for breathing… Of course it has a price.  And you end up empty, you end up sick… You’re pursuing just the looks of it.  Just the aesthetics.” – Ido Portal.

He’s talking about body building vs body movement.  I can’t help seeing the connection with houses, homes, buildings people live in.

I wrote an article on “Sourceable”, an online building and architecture space:

What do we advertise when we develop new buildings?

We advertise looks.  Photoshop, 3D imaging, capturing the imagination about status, aspiring wealth, and beauty.

So the reality is that we do respond to looks.  But we never thought that the Bass Coast Superpod® was the only “look”.  Derek Zoolander moved on to “Magnum”.  He was versatile, clever, variable.

And I’m excited about our next look too.





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If you want to change the way you design, purchase and live in buildings, we can help you. If you want comfort and health instead of mould, drafts, high power bills, being too hot and too cold, we can help. If you want your building to be really sustainable, rather than just tacking on a few solar panels, we can help.

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