Karingal Drive

RB Kahle Wye River


A rebuild from the ashes

Karingal Drive was a project we first built back in 2005 and was burnt down in the fires that burnt through Wye River in 2015/2016.

The original owner still owned the property and approached us to have it rebuilt it in 2018.

We managed to save the concrete footings and reused them, so the front print of the building didn’t change much, just the interior. A small bedroom with en-suite was added on to the side. The beach now can be seen from the back deck, as previously the trees and foliage blocked this view. The cladding now had to meet Bal ratings, so the house is now cladded in interlocking tin cladding and the deck is a Bal 40 rated composite decking.

Shack in the Rocks

RB Kahle Shack in the Rocks


Out in country Victoria Designed by Sean Godsell Architects.

A simple farm shed to provide rudimentary accommodation in a stunning serene and rural location.

Content provided by Architects

In our discussions we noted the primary requirement in rural and outback Australia for shelter – a roof parasol that provides some shade and protection from the rain as well as a place to enjoy outdoor activities – cooking, eating and engaging with and framing the spectacular landscape that exists on this particular site.

In the end we adapted a hayshed structure and modified it by including a translucent roofing material for light and adapting some industrial walkway grating to make a louvre for shade. Two translucent ‘sheds’ are positioned to the east end of a monolithic concrete plinth – one shed for cooking and eating and the other for sleeping and ablutions.

Ocean Boulevard


Perched on the cliff top of Jan Juc, this Zen Architect designed home is exposed to all the elements that mother nature has to offer.

The Ocean Boulevard House evokes the fond memory of the elevated timber beach house it replaced.

Architect | Zen Architects

By referencing the old beach house’s simple, elegant form and practical, efficient spaces, we designed something entirely new yet surprisingly familiar. Integral to the brief was the contrasting needs of the desire to capture ocean views, while providing privacy and protection from cold southerly winds. The existing footprint was re-used but the form was re-designed to respond to these needs while also harnessing solar gain for passive heating in winter and cross ventilation for passive cooling in summer.

Zen House


Designed by Zen Architects this eco-friendly home is at one with nature.

The Zen house is an uncompromising exercise in cradle to cradle recycling to create a contemporary family home imbued with the spirit of the existing site.

The 1970’s beach house previously on the site was dismantled carefully for reassembly within the context of the new building.

Design | Ricardo Zen
Photography | Emma Cross

The existing garden was retained and increased in size by reducing the new building’s footprint. This allowed for a productive garden to thrive on the northern façade, helping to control sun and wind and making the house feel more comfortable and connected to the ground. The goal was to establish a relationship between occupants, house and site.

No timber from the demolition works left the site: oregon rafters were reused as cabinetry, stair treads; all floor boards and decking boards were de-nailed and reused and the original hard wood stumps were reused as the front entry stairs. Windows from the house were reused internally to separate the study from the living room and externally to shelter the north facing deck from sea breezes. PVC plumbing pipes, light fittings and the wood fire was reused.

The radially sawn timber fins on the east façade angle variably, animating the façade like a wave above the viewer when approaching the building. This twisted façade serves to protect the southern end of the upper floor decks from cold south-easterly breezes while opening out to the sun and views at the northern end. These timber fins are visible both inside and out, which ties the building together reinforcing the feelings of shelter and connection to the natural world.

Designed by Ricardo Zen, this home is nestled in a quiet court in Jan Juc, on the Surf Coast of Victoria.

St Georges Way – The Sands


The perfect house for entertainment

The perfect entertainer this house was designed for a large family or for people who like to entertain.

As with most of our houses this house has a northerly aspect which also overlooks the fourth hole fairway on The Sands Torquay golf courses and beyond to a rural outlook. This house is like the Links Drive house, it has been constructed with the environment in mind. With living spaces on both levels, insulation was very important not only to retain the warmth but to control the sound between floors.

The house also has two rain water tanks to salvage some of the rain from the roof.

Jan Juc House


Grand in design and eco-friendly marriage made in heaven.

Nestled on a ridge in Jan Juc this home was designed to not only take in the wonderful views but the northerly aspect makes the most of the winter sun.

The owners have found this house to be very comfortable year round, with doubleglazed windows to retain the warmth in winter and the southerly windows and doors to let the cooling summer breeze flow through the house during the summer months, the owners were vary aware of the energy used in such a house but with the siting being so successful having solar hotwater and low energy hydronic floor and panel heating they have been able to keep there energy use very reasonable. The use of full height windows to capture the sensational views to the ocean and the hilite windows adds to the openness and light to the main living areas and to reduce the energy use.

Links Drive


A beach house that is both contemporary and environmentally conscious.

An amazing mix of design and materials, to achieve a self sufficient home.

The beach house is deliberately facing North to getas much sun as possible.  Constructed from sustainable materials, with the use of water tanks and solar hot water, makes this a very energy efficient house.

Rudd House


Designed by Zen Architects this eco-friendly home is at one with nature.

Entirely energy self sufficient featuring rendered straw-bale walls, polished concrete and recycled timber throughout.

This unique property was both challenging and rewarding to build.

Architect | Zen Architects

Positioning of the house was a major consideration for the client as they were determined to have as little impact on the environment as possible. The site was chosen for several reasons, this area was opened up by a large tree that had fallen which meant there was minimum clearing to do. The building has a very small footprint and sits in its environment rather than on or over it, the north pavilion is set to take advantage of the solar aspect, the breezway that divides the pavilions is aligned to take the view along the gully.

The radial sawn silvertop ash was used extensively throughout the house as this is considered to be more sustainable. We used recycled material where we could, the structural columns were recycled posts from the demolished Yarra Street pier. Bolts and pins from these posts were used to make door furniture. There were many of unique features to this house which made it both challenging and rewarding to build.