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Big & little solar houses

Australia's first
project solar homes

Designed and developed in 1979 by the Jon Crooke Design Studio, these homes were the first solar 'Project Homes' in Australia. They were designed and built around a timber post and beam framing system.


Jon Crooke marketed the houses under the name Big & Little Solar Houses and the first display home was built in Kinglake, Victoria, Australia. More display homes followed in Victoria, NSW and Queensland. Over 400 homes were built over the following years.

The homes incorporated the principles of passive solar design, open planning and centralised heating.

Most customers chose to build their Big or Little Solar House with a barn, country or cottage theme which proudly displayed the heavy timber frame.


However some, like renown NSW solar architect Gareth Cole, chose a more contemporary theme for his own Jon Crooke designed home. Called the Cherrybrook, the house went on to win many industry awards and appeared on a number of lifestyle TV shows. Gareth Cole sold Big and Little Solar Houses homes as a franchisee under his company Solar Lifestyle.

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