Down to earth, beautiful design that enhances your quality of life

Ready to create the best home you've ever lived in?

A home where everything has its place – whether that’s your art, the cat’s bed or an ever-growing collection of books. And when you look around, you see the story of how it all came to be. The materials you chose, the outlook you wanted to frame and the ideas you ushered into existence by trusting us to take your home beyond what you first thought was possible.

Service is a key word for RUBI Architects. However, service isn’t interpreted by simply saying yes to everything on a client’s wish list. The practice is highly focused not only on design, but as importantly, practicality, the ‘buildability’ of a project within a given budget. Alex Rubilar’s extensive experience building homes in the United States as well as Antonio La Torre’s experience in construction management, has empowered the duo to deliver rather than simply promise.


Design foundations of your residence


The objective

While RUBI Architects’ objective is to create a unique home for its clients, it must be highly pragmatic, with a vision that’s shared by both architect and client being delivered within the set budget. Based on extensive discussions to establish a firm brief, the topics are often varied and broad, from the number of rooms and types of spaces required to the smaller details. Often, clients can focus on the smaller details and get distracted about what the focus should be – creating a home not just for the present, but as importantly, for the near and distant future. For RUBI Architects, it’s getting to know clients and what they hope to achieve. Is it a coastal home where the owners regularly surf and require storage for surfboards and wet gear? Or are the owners more indoor types, spending more time reading and therefore benefit from a great library with built-in reading nooks? What’s their daily routine? RUBI Architects also makes a point of meeting with all the decision makers for a new project – whether it’s a single person, a couple or an extended family. While one member of a family may have crystal clear ideas of what they want to achieve, the other party or parties may have a completely different vision in mind.



Sustainable design is at the core of RUBI Architect’s approach – sourcing local materials that reduces both the cost and energy required to transport materials from afar. This approach also includes the cost of operating a house and ensuring that energy costs are kept to a minimum. And while including some cost-saving measures may require a greater initial outlay, these savings are measured over the long term, up to 30 years, with the measures taken reducing costs in the first 10 years. Connecting to the outdoors wherever possible, both physically and visually is also paramount – with lightwells and verdant nooks both inside and out creating a biophilic response and forming an essential component from the outset.

Designing for one’s needs – both now and in the future

Rubilar uses the example of a couple looking to build a new house in a leafy Melbourne suburb. They currently have two children at university who will shortly move out of home and another two entering their final years of secondary school. While it may be more gratifying for the couple to build a large five-bedroom house, Rubilar suggested they consider less bedrooms and spend more of the budget in areas that will give them pleasure in their later years moving forward – perhaps a swimming pool and a more sophisticated kitchen? How do they see themselves living here in 20 to 30 years. And if they choose not to include a lift now, at least provide an area where one can later be installed, such as a large walk-in cupboard.

Site analysis

Context is often given lip service by architects who want to create a landmark building. However, with RUBI Architects, both the micro and the broader macro context is paramount to the way it operates – be it a new beach house on the Bellarine Peninsula or a new home in an urban setting such as Geelong or Melbourne. And how will this new home relate to its streetscape, and is it located in a heritage or period streetscape? How will neighbours respond and will it affect the way they live, including their loss of sunlight or privacy? After all, most people want to enjoy living in a community and not be given the ‘eye’ by neighbours disapproving of their home.

Our services

Urban residences

Renovations and new builds that maximise the potential of complex urban sites. 

Rural and coastal residences

Homes anchored to the energy of the landscape you’re escaping to. 

Our services include:

Architectural design and documentation
Interior design
Planning permit applications
Building permit applications
Property subdivisions
Feasibility studies
Sustainable design consulting
Builder selection
Construction contract administration 


"Alex was a pleasure to deal with while planning the full renovation of our house. He took our ideas and essential elements and created a design that was both innovative and functional, while keeping with nature. We highly recommend Alex as a professional and would be delighted to use his services again in the future."

– Jaime Dimery

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