Village Square

For people living in the Ecovillage, but also the wider community and tourists, the Village Square will be an exciting and stimulating cultural oasis that caters for all ages in a flexible and lively but safe environment. On the south side of the Square is the Community Centre with public facilities, child care and a café; to the west is a boutique Eco-hotel consisting of a restaurant, bar, café, function room and accommodation; to the east is a building forming the Creative Hub which is a place for studios, offices, IT-hubs, shared and individual work spaces; and the north is bordered by 8 small Mixed Use Cottage lots where creative makers can live and have their in-house workshops/studios facing the Square interacting with the public.

The Village Square itself will be a pedestrian only space, landscaped with shade trees, public art work and street furniture, with plenty of spots to tie up your bike, sit and have a chat, play chess, picnic, or listen to some busking. We envisage regular food and crafts markets, performances, exhibitions and other small-scale events. Accessibility will be a feature of the Village Square design, to ensure that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy the public facilities. Adjacent to the Square is a beautifully landscaped park with flowing pedestrian and cycle paths, more seating, shade structures and bbqs for picnics, an adventure play area for smaller and larger children, a skate park, tennis courts and a petanque area. The rear of the park connects to the oval and the beginning of the longer Ecovillage walk trails.

In the Village Square, activities for the whole family can happen simultaneously – kids can play sports on the oval, skateboard, or play in the playground, while parents can visit the markets, go to a yoga class or have coffee. The aim is to eliminate the common stress caused by the need to drive between five different places on a weekend morning. Instead this concept brings people together in a more relaxed and flexible fashion. We envisage the Village Square to be a lively place that is enjoyable to visit, catch up for a coffee, have a meeting, go to a function, see crafty makers in their workshops, do some research in Community Centre library, check out the Creative Hub and more. It will form the public face of Witchcliffe Ecovillage – here we share our resources, ideas and culture and invite in the larger community and visitors from near and far.

Community Centre

The heart and soul of the ecovillage… a place for sharing, enjoying, meeting, learning and celebrating together.

Creative Hub

A connected, collective workspace which will nurture creative enterprises, artistic projects, and sustainable technology and services within the Ecovillage, providing opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

Food Hub

The Food Hub is central to our food distribution network, a collective space for organic growers within the Witchcliffe Ecovillage to wholesale, retail, process, and value add their fresh food produce.

Boutique Hotel

Fun and funky short stay accomodation and organic wine bar for Ecovillagers, locals and tourists, the perfect place to get a taste of Ecovillage life.

Mixed Use Cottages

Suitable for a funky shopfront, studio, consulting rooms, or offices downstairs, and European style sun drenched living upstairs

Village Square

Community Centre

The heart and soul of the ecovillage… a place for sharing, enjoying, meeting, learning and celebrating together.

Creative Hub

A connected, collective workspace which will nurture creative enterprises, artistic projects, and sustainable technology and services within the Ecovillage, providing opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

Food Hub

The Food Hub is central to our food distribution network, a collective space for organic growers within the Witchcliffe Ecovillage to wholesale, retail, process, and value add their fresh food produce.

Boutique Hotel

Fun and funky short stay accomodation and organic wine bar for Ecovillagers, locals and tourists, the perfect place to get a taste of Ecovillage life.

Mixed Use Cottages

Suitable for a funky shopfront, studio, consulting rooms, or offices downstairs, and European style sun drenched living upstairs.

Community Centre

The heart and soul of the ecovillage… a place for sharing, enjoying, meeting, learning and celebrating together.

The Community Centre will showcase our commitment to sustainable architecture and community life. It will be a beautiful and multi-functional straw bale building, built by the developer in Stage 1 for use by Witchcliffe Ecovillage residents, but open to visitors as well. The open plan foyer will invite people to come in, meet, talk, hang out, view the displays explaining the Ecovillage, use the resource library and book swap, community pin board, or get information at the Ecovillage office where our admin and event planning will be done.

The largest component of the Community Centre is a multi-purpose function room with a fully equipped commercial kitchen. This space will be suitable for community get-togethers, events, art exhibitions, performances, movies, music and more, but can also be hired for weddings, parties, anything! A variety of smaller rooms will be available for private consultations, meetings and presentations, but also for group activities like yoga, meditation, Pilates, arts and craft classes, book clubs, etc. When not catering for functions, the kitchen will be used for cooking classes, community feasts, annual tomato sauce cook-offs, and surplus produce processing.

For the youngest in the community, a child care centre will be at the north end of the building, close to the Village Square playgrounds. Facing the Village Square will be a small but funky family café where you can sit down for a chat or just grab a coffee and a healthy treat while watching the kids play. The Community Centre is also where the public toilets and sports change and shower facilities are housed, easily accessible from the public oval. The Community Centre with its generous flowing shape, attractive, inviting entrance, organic building materials and solar panel array is the quintessence of our village life; it is about sharing, enjoying, meeting and learning; it is flexible in use, sustainable, efficient and beautiful.

Food Hub

Making a living from a small farm can be challenging, especially with high costs for transport and marketing, and low wholesale prices paid to farmers. The Food Hub will be the heart of the Witchcliffe Ecovillage’s fair food distribution network, a collective space for organic growers to wholesale, retail, process, and value add their fresh food produce. It will provide a place for Ecovillage residents, locals and tourists to buy fresh organic produce with zero food miles and without the packaging and mark-up of supermarket fruit and veg.

The Food Hub is to be constructed on a  commercial site located in the Village Square, and we expect it to to be built once Stage 3 is complete and the Ecovillage has been fully developed. In the early years of the Ecovillage, growers will be able to sell their produce directly to residents through organic growers’ markets held in the Village Square, or through community supported agriculture food box schemes.

Creative Hub

A connected, collective workspace designed by Sorenson Architects, which will nurture creative enterprises, artistic projects, and sustainable technology and services within the Ecovillage, providing opportunities for collaboration and enterprise.

Planned for Stage 3, when the Ecovillage population has grown, the Creative Hub will be an innovative solar passive building with space for professionals, small businesses and artists to rent or own offices/studios, with communal facilities to reduce costs and promote interaction and networking.

Boutique Hotel

The boutique hotel will be a fun and funky short stay accomodation and organic wine bar,  the perfect place to get a taste of Ecovillage life. It will be the social hub at the heart of the Witchcliffe Ecovillage, open to everyone: residents, locals, travellers, ecovillage students, and backpackers.

Throughout the whole hotel, there will be strong emphasis on environmental responsibility, sustainability and innovation, from the building materials, fit-out and furniture used, to the services and operation of the hotel, as well as the food and drinks that are served.

Prominent at the entrance to the Village Square, it offers a cool and relaxed café’ and bar space, restaurant and function room. Funky, comfortable hang out spaces inside spill out to the shade trees on the Village Square. In the open plan spaces with varied seating arrangements, people will be able to meet up for a coffee, relax over a meal featuring Ecovillage grown food, try the Ecovillage wines, celebrate, chat, read and have internet access. The bar doubles as the reception for the wide range of accommodation that the boutique hotel offers visitors, workers, study groups, event participants, people building their houses and anybody who would just like a taste of life in the ecovillage.

Boutique Hotel Ground Floor

Mixed Use cottages

Just 8 special lots in the heart of the ecovillage fronting onto the Village Square,  these are designed for the artists, professionals and makers of the ecovillage.  Suitable for a funky shopfront, studio, consulting rooms, or offices downstairs,  and European style sun drenched living upstairs, these lots would suit singles,  couples or small families. There’s room for a private courtyard to the north, and  access via the Square to a beautiful shared productive community garden to the  east of the lots, with allotment style veggie beds, herb garden, fruit trees, and  chickens.