Kids Pod is a pavilion extension to an older project of Mihaly Slocombe, connected to the original via a glazed bridge. It is located on a vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula, with views across the vines and valley beyond. It contains a bedroom, playroom and bathroom for the clients' current and future grandchildren.

It is a reinterpretation of how the architects once imagined their own childhood cubbyhouse to be: playful, theatrical, secretive and robust.

In addition to our focus on passive solar design, Mihaly Slocombe sought to further our clients' enthusiasm for sustainable design via research into the idea of ecological custodianship.

They asked themselves the following questions:

  1. How might we make the right decisions about the materials we use?
  2. How can we behave responsibly on behalf of both our clients and the planet?
  3. Is it possible, within the parameters of a small, bespoke residential project, to test the best practice opportunities of the Australian construction industry?


  • 200% expansion of an existing photovoltaic array, from 10kWh to 30kWh
  • 90% of clients' residential and winemaking electricity needs are provided by solar
  • Northern orientation
  • Opening windows to north and south for cross-ventilation
  • Bulk insulation to floors, walls and roof
  • Exposed concrete slab for thermal mass
  • Low-E double glazing
  • External shutters sized for use as eaves
  • Retractable shutters and air-lock bridge connection to the original house permit it to be shut down
  • Employs locally sourced, sustainably harvested materials wherever possible
  • Plantation Pine timber structure
  • Thermally broken, Australian-made aluminium window frames
  • Radially sawn Silvertop Ash timber
  • External cladding boards, sourced from sustainably managed native regrowth Victorian forests
  • FSC certified Hoop Pine plywood internal lining panels
  • All light fittings use low-energy LED fittings
  • Their combined energy demand is approximately 150W or 2.5W /sqm
  • No air-conditioning is installed, cooling instead achieved via cross ventilation and reversible ceiling fans