Awarded 2023

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Sponsors & Acknowledgements Design Matters National acknowledges, with thanks, the sponsors and partners of the 2023 Building Design Awards.

AWARDED Editor: Vesna Zuban Design: Owen Walsh Printing: Southern Impact Suite 1, Level 1, 11 Queens Rd, Melbourne VIC 3184 03 9416 0227


CONTENTS Messages 04 05

From the Chair From the CEO

Special Awards 06 07

Life Member Award - Paul Wilson Ronald Pickford Award - Wayne Floyd

Building Design of the Year 08 Canal Haus - National Winner, QLD State Winner, Excellence in Use of Concrete; New House $2,000,001-$3M State Winners 16 WA - The Bromley - WA Building Design of the Year; Environmentally Sustainable Design; New House $300,001-$500K 20 VIC - Grid House - VIC Building Design of the Year; Kitchen Design; Excellence in Use of Steel 24 NSW - KJ Residence - NSW Building Design of the Year; Interior Design 29 TAS - Otago Edge - Tas Building Design of the Year; Small Works Project; New House over $3M; Bathroom Design Residential Design 38 Central Residence - James Hardie 40 5th Generation Regeneration - James Hardie 42 Era Destino - Bathroom Design 44 Doncaster Residences - Dual Occupancy; People’s Choice Runner-up 46 Huff’n’Puff Haus - Environmentally Sustainable Design; New House $1,000,001 - $2M; Residential Rural Design 50 Rosebery House - Excellence Use of Glass 52 Well Tempered House - Excellence Use of Bricks 56 Treehouse - Excellence Use of Glass; Excellence Use of Timber 62 Eco Barn House - Excellence Use of Lightweight Materials 64 Hope House - Excellence use of Lightweight Materials (EC); Excellence use of Recycled Materials (EC);

66 Victoria Avenue - Excellence in Use of Stone; Kitchen Design 70 Little Apple - New House $750,001 - $1M; Excellence in Use of Timber 74 DiPlacido Residence - Interior Design 78 Rosedale Circuit - New House $300,001 - $500K 80 Tree House - New House $500,001 - $750K 84 Castlemaine Hybrid Home - New House $500,001 - $750K 88 Taungurung Passivhaus - New House $750,001 - $1M 92 Ocean Blue Loop - New House $1,000,001 - $2M 96 Eagle Bay Beach House - New House $2,000,001 - $3M 100 Hirniak Residence - New House Over $3M 106 Ferrars & York - Multi-Residential Over $6M 110 Coode Street - Multi-Residential Over $6M 114 Booth St Project - Residential Alterations & Additions up to $350K 118 Project Elstree - Residential Alterations & Additions $350,001 - $800K (WC) 122 McPhail House - Residential Alterations & Additions $350,001 - $800K (EC); Small House 150sqm 126 The Union - Residential Alterations & Additions over $800K (WC) 130 Castaway Project - Residential Alterations & Additions over $800K (EC) 134 The Flats - Residential Heritage Design (WC) 138 Gascoigne Elegance - Residential Heritage Design (EC) 142 Boyanup Residence - Residentual Rural Design (WC) 146 The Parky - Residential Unbuilt Design 150 Pleasantview Manor -Excellence in Documentation (EC) 152 The Hutt House - Excellence in Documentation (WC); People’s Choice Award (WC) 154 Mt Eliza Beach House - People’s Choice Award (EC) Non-Residential Design 160 Future Office - Fitout for Grenke Australia - Non-Residential Interiors 164 Hart & Co - Commercial Alterations and Additions 168 Global Rd Business Park - New Commercial Over $2M 174 Key in on Keon - New Commercial Over $2M 178 Dispensary Lane Project - New Commercial up to $2M Emerging Design Talent 184 The Arches - Best Digital Presentation by a Student 186 Performing Arts Hub - Best Group Project by Students 188 Nexus Kew - Best Response to a Design Brief by a Student 192 Mount Burke - Excellence in Documentation by a Student The Entrants WC 194 2023 West Coast Building Design Awards Entrants The Entrants EC

Design Matters National also acknowledges, with thanks, the judges of the 2023 Awards.

196 2023 East Coast Building Design Awards Entrants

DMN Building Design Awards Judges Paul Wilson James Goodlet Marcus Betts Julie Canal George Mifsud



Peter Lombo Chair, Design Matters National

As we look ahead to the end of 2023, optimism and hope fill the air after three challenging COVID years. The recent DMN Building Design Awards stand out as a highlight for many of our members. The Awards were a true showcase of the remarkable talent that resides within our membership. Witnessing the outstanding design efforts displayed at both our West Coast and East Coast Award events has been an inspiring reminder that even in trying times, we, the members of this creative community, have an unwavering ability to craft beautiful, innovative work. Challenges are an inevitable part of our journey, yet we must view them not as obstacles but as opportunities for growth and learning. Over the past two decades, I have submitted my own work multiple times, and while I may not have secured a victory every time, I have come to realise that the true value lies in the connections made and the knowledge gained. It’s these challenges that make us better designers and strengthen our bond as a community.

Let’s make the 2024 Design Awards an event that not only showcases our talent but also serves as a reminder of our enduring spirit and the limitless potential that lies within our community.

As I’ve travelled across the country, I’ve had the privilege of admiring numerous outstanding buildings designed by DMN members. This serves as a testament to the immense talent that resides within our community. I invite all of you to embrace the opportunity to showcase your design talents in the future Design Awards as we continue to demonstrate our resilience, creativity, and commitment to the craft. Let’s make the 2024 Design Awards an event that not only showcases our talent but also serves as a reminder of our enduring spirit and the limitless potential that lies within our community.

With warm regards,

Chairman P. Lombo



Celebrating Innovation and Excellence Peta Anderson CEO Design Matters National

The Annual Building Design Awards are always an exciting time of year to celebrate innovation and architectural excellence. As CEO of Design Matters National, it brings me immense pleasure to shine the spotlight on the remarkable achievements within our community of building designers. The past year has presented unprecedented challenges to our industry, from adapting to changes in the National Construction Code 2022 and the rise in the cost of building materials. Yet, in the face of adversity, our members have demonstrated resilience, adaptability and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible across residential and commercial architecture resulting in largest number of entries that we have ever received. The awards span across a spectrum of categories, each recognising outstanding achievements in various aspects of building design. From the integration of smart technologies to advancements in eco-friendly construction, our members have truly embraced the ethos of sustainable and forwardthinking design. I take this opportunity to thank our esteemed panel of judges, comprising of members and industry experts who spend hours of volunteered time to meticulously evaluate each submission in limited timeframes. As we celebrate the winners of this year’s awards, we also look to the future. Our industry plays a pivotal role in shaping the way we live, work and interact with our surroundings. The challenges of today inspire the innovations of tomorrow and our members stand at the forefront of this transformative journey. In closing, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the entrants, finalists and winners of this year’s Annual Building Design Awards. Your dedication to excellence is not only recognised, but also celebrated.




Ronald Pickford Award

Life Member Award

The Ronald Pickford Award honours individuals with significant contributions to Design Matters National and their own industry beyond building design.

The Life Member Award is in recognition of those who have committed years of service to Design Matters National and the broader design industry. This award underscores their significant contributions, steadfast commitment, and the indelible legacy they’ve imprinted on our association.

Wayne Floyd Wayne has over 30 years’ experience in the building materials landscape and has been a valued member of Design Matters National for 20 years. He is also the founder of his own successful company, Floyd Energy®, which was established in 2001. A senior Building Thermal Performance Assessor and Building Sustainability Consultant, he chaired the Australian Building Sustainability Association from 2007-2009. Wayne is a sought-after and respected voice in not only the Building Sustainability sector but in government forums as well. Wayne’s valuable contributions as a facilitator for Design Matters National’s professional courses and workshops have been instrumental in setting high standards for industry expertise. His unrivaled professionalism and knowledge have consistently won admiration and high praise from attendees, both members and nonmembers alike.

Paul Wilson Since establishing a thriving design practice in 1997, Paul has consistently displayed a remarkable mix of creativity, innovation and leadership. Having joined DMN in 2003, by 2008 he had already made a mark as an influential committee member. His tenure as President and as NABD President in 2017 brought notable advancements, including the introduction of the live national awards night, a groundbreaking innovation that bridged gaps and connected design professionals nationwide. Paul’s leadership was pivotal during our transition from a contract administration to a self-managed structure, a change that highlighted his strategic and adaptive thinking. Amidst various industry challenges, his unwavering advocacy for design and regulation policy has significantly contributed to the elevation of the built environment. Having also served as a respected Design Awards Judge, he’s played a key role in maintaining and enhancing the standards of design excellence within our community.




CANAL HAUS WINNER 2023 National Building Design Award Winner Qld State Winner Excellence in the use of Concrete (EC) New House $2,000,001-$3M (EC) Location: QLD Designer: Sven Maxa | Maxa Design Website: Builder: Stewart Homes Energy Assessor: Graham Energy Photographer: Marnie Hawson


Project Brief The project brief called for a modern and sustainable family home, harmonising minimalist and contemporary industrial styles with the natural landscape. Key requirements included seamless indoor-outdoor integration, accommodating family activities and hobbies, and utilising materials like timber, concrete, stone, steel, and glass. The focus was on fostering togetherness while allowing individual pursuits, resulting in a versatile layout with four bedrooms, four bathrooms, public spaces, an outdoor lounge, gym, and playroom. The design aimed to discreetly incorporate eco-friendly features and achieve off-grid living through efficient energy and water consumption management.



Sustainability Considerations This eco-friendly home embodies sustainability through various key practices. It utilises geopolymer concrete, locally sourced materials, and recycled timber cladding, minimising carbon emissions and embodied energy. The design focuses on material reduction, optimising wall layers and reducing waste. Passive solar design, high-performance glazing, insulation, and thermal mass eliminate the need for heating and cooling. Energy efficiency is further enhanced with solar panels and energy-efficient appliances, while an earth tube air pre-cooling system improves comfort. Self-sufficient water conservation measures include greywater treatment and rainwater harvesting. Although off-grid for black water was initially planned, the house remains a sustainable living model.

The geometric minimalist form is softened by the recycled timber cladding and the native landscape design, including a natural water reflection pond that wraps the entry and continues into the eastern courtyard.


Judges’ Comments Magical, beautiful, thoughtful, environmentally friendly, cool, striking and considerate to its sustainability considerations. Not only is the home a triumph in terms of design and execution, the material choices, colour palette and sustainability considerations but the design team is also to be highly commended for the high-quality, comprehensive documentation and fantastic choice of photographs.



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THE BROMLEY WINNER WA Building Design of the Year New House $300,001 - $500K (WC) Small Home 150sqm (WC) Environmentally Sustainable Design (WC)

Location: Hilton, WA Designer: Dalecki Design Website: Builder: Limitless Building Energy Assessor: Northern Aspect Energy Consultants Photographer: Dion Robeson


Project Brief To create a humble, light-filled family home that suits the clients’ relaxed lifestyle. Being mid-century Australian design enthusiasts with a passion for gardening, they envisioned a small, calm, minimalist space with a strong indoor-outdoor connection. Quality, functionality, and environmental sustainability were prioritised over size. After considering various ‘off-the-plan’ options, they opted for a custom design to ensure their home, though compact, is dynamic, conscious, and tailored to their specific needs and desires.


A sweeping bulkhead over the kitchen, layered with planting, mimics the sculpted form of the island bench below, and gently binds and softens the transition between spaces.

Sustainability Considerations The project achieved a 9.9-star energy rating, a notable accomplishment given its modest budget. This rating was achieved through strategic site orientation, solar control, and a smaller home footprint, with living spaces positioned to capture northern winter sun and cooling summer breezes. A final roof material colour change slightly impacted the intended


ten-star rating. Double glazing was used for thermal and noise control, complemented by diverse construction methods, and upgraded insulation. The absence of air conditioning, the incorporation of LED lighting, Solar PV, and a rainwater tank for garden use exemplify the project’s efficient use of resources.

Judges’ Comments A thoroughly impressive use of sustainable materials and the thoughtfully devised layout. This project stands as a testament to modern, environmentally conscious design, marrying functionality with aesthetic appeal. With an impressive energy rating of 9.9 stars, achieved within budgetary constraints, it showcases efficiency and exemplary design capabilities. The project resonates with the adage “less is more”, exemplifying the power of simplicity and intention. Overall, this project embodies the essence of inspired and efficient design, setting a benchmark for future endeavours.


GRID HOUSE WINNER VIC Building Design of the Year Kitchen Design (EC) Excellence in the use of Steel (EC) Location: Malvern East, VIC Designer: Ari Karsarian | Ari Alexander Design Group Interior Design: Doherty Design Studio Website: Builder: Shepherd Builders Energy Assessor: Robert Iacono Photographer: Timothy Kaye

Project Brief To accommodate an expanding family’s needs. The goal was to add two bedrooms, an extra bathroom, and a children’s play area within a limited site. Through innovative vertical expansion, the design team needed to maximise space while integrating new additions with the existing structure. The desired result was a harmonious home where the new spaces offer privacy and convenience while infusing youthful exuberance.

Sustainability Considerations The construction of this property includes prioritising energy efficiency with insulation materials, energy-efficient windows, and advanced HVAC systems, reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. Renewable energy sources like solar panels generate clean electricity on-site, reducing reliance on grid electricity and greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable materials, low-flow fixtures, and rainwater harvesting minimise the ecological footprint and water consumption. Green spaces enhance biodiversity, supporting native plants, wildlife, air purification, and stormwater management. These measures collectively exemplify the building’s commitment to reduced environmental impact and enhanced overall sustainability. Presenting as a white weatherboard, complete with a white picket fence, decorative woodworking and a tidy front garden, Grid House assimilates into its leafy streetscape without much more than a sky blue front door to hint at the resurrection that has taken place inside.




The use of unconventional color choices, together with the warmth of natural wood and the sleekness of black metal details, creates a gentle interplay with the indoor lighting. Meanwhile, a round skylight situated directly above the staircase ushers in more light, illuminating the heart of the dwelling.

Judges’ Comments This home is a testament to the clever restoration of a period home while introducing modernity and steel elements seamlessly through the design in a variety of locations and formats. The use of steel in this home is very creative. Love the box window frames and steel balustrades (including internal staircase


and upper external window shading) and its use as an awning. The kitchen is ‘off the charts’. The use of natural materials and muted palettes in a small yet functional space is a standout. Lovely clean lines, a muted palette and a successful transition from old to new, resulting in a beautiful and cohesive design.

Monochromatic Elegance: This kitchen’s serene palette blends ribbed wood textures and marble, creating a symphony of style and simplicity.


KJ RESIDENCE WINNER NSW Building Design of the Year Interior Design (EC)

Location: Austral, NSW Designer: Bav Kizilkaya | A1 Design Studio Website: Builder: Kyse Homsi Energy Assessor: Positive Eco Photographer: Simon Whitbread


Project Brief The clients approached A1 design studio seeking a comprehensive building and interior design for their home, envisioning it as an oasis and gathering hub. Drawn to modern contemporary architecture with bold contrasting elements and warm tones, they emphasised spaciousness, recalling its luxury from their childhood. While desiring ample space, they sought a sheltered, calming ambiance, especially in private areas. Central to their vision was a kitchen that blended aesthetics and functionality, with a dark, moody palette and standout features. Additionally, they required extensive storage and a customised master suite, aiming for a home that offers uniqueness and resonates with their identity.



Above: The bath and shower zone is a highlight as it’s stepped up to create a retreat feel and the entire vanity is made from natural stone with an integrated double sink and drawers for storage, exuberating refined luxury.

Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

Optimising north-facing living areas, the design minimised east and west windows to reduce heat, utilising awnings for additional shading. Double glazing was employed to enhance thermal efficiency. The incorporation of a rainwater tank supports laundry and garden needs, while drought-tolerant landscaping, featuring succulents and turf, ensures low water consumption. Polished concrete floors were chosen for their thermal mass, effectively retaining heat during winter and remaining cool in summer, promoting energy efficiency and reducing cooling costs in warmer months.

A showcase of elegance and luxury, resembling a high-end hotel experience. The clever design and excellent documentation have resulted in a truly impressive space. The moody ambiance, choice of materials, and meticulous detailing contribute to the overall opulence. The use of stone in the kitchen and bathroom adds a touch of sophistication and fulfills the client’s request for a luxury art deco hotel feel. Overall, the bold use of materials, attention to detail, and glamorous execution make this interior design a stunning and successful project that meets the brief exceptionally well.




OTAGO EDGE WINNER TAS Building Design of the Year Bathroom Design (EC) Small Works Project (EC) New House over $3M (EC)

Location: Otago Bay, TAS Designer: Mike Cleaver | Clever Design Website: Builder: Delaney & Co Energy Assessor: Wayne Gorman - Energy Man Photographer: Peter Mathew



Project Brief The project involved replacing an existing 1980s home on a rural allotment to maximise northern solar gain and riverside views. The goal was a modern, singlestorey, and unique home with a strong connection to the natural surroundings. Key features included a grand entry, spacious living areas, a wood flame fire, river views from the kitchen, a butler’s pantry, and outdoor amenities like an alfresco area, spa pool, and fire pit. Despite multiple revisions, the design successfully met these challenges while harmonising with the environment.

Step through the entrance on the Southern facade and be welcomed by a breathtaking 7.8-meter-long floating concrete bridge, leading you into a foyer bathed in natural light. This innovative architectural marvel exudes an irresistible sense of excitement and ‘wow factor,’ effortlessly connecting you with the mesmerizing waterscape that awaits beyond



Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

This environmentally sustainable home strategically harnesses natural resources for maximum energy efficiency. Its northern orientation and high-light glazing capitalise on solar gain and cross-flow ventilation. Skylights and segmented window systems optimise natural light and ventilation. The use of Western Red Cedar embraces sustainability in design and materials. An innovative HVAC system, powered by renewable energy, handles heating, cooling, and hot water efficiently. Wastewater and stormwater management systems support site irrigation, with a freshwater pond sourced from stormwater. These thoughtful measures create a harmonious blend of sustainability, functionality, and aesthetics.

This project is nothing short of remarkable. Despite the challenges and constraints faced, the design team has delivered an outstanding result. The use of concrete with its imperfections adds a unique and captivating touch to the space. The fire pit and spa are delightful features, enhancing the overall appeal. There’s no denying the innovative solutions and the successful fulfillment of the client’s brief. It’s a project that deserves recognition and applause for its excellence.

The exposed grain texture of the large- sized western red cedar beams are a distinguishing design feature that provides a softening feel with replicas of timber battening and screens in the main bathroom, powder room and all ensuites.



With energy efficient principles at the core, this environmentally sustainable home utilises natural stone and in-situ off-form concrete walling. This methodology was designed to solidify the building whilst using a seamless micro-cement finish on the concrete slab providing the essential internal thermal mass to minimise internal temperature fluctuation.



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Location: Manifold Heights, VIC Designer: Dylan Barber | Dylan Barber Building Design Website: Builder: JCON Construction Energy Assessor: iRate Energy Photographer: Nikole Ramsay

Project Brief Commissioned to design an extension for a Californian bungalow, the goal was a cohesive, contemporary living space with an industrial-chic touch. The design aimed to integrate a functional kitchen, dining space, a butler’s pantry, ample natural light, and a seamless outdoor connection. Features include a master bedroom with ensuite and walk-in robe, a dedicated office for the clients’ landscaping business, and storage provisions. Challenges included site elevation differences, permit requirements for buildings over 7.5m, preserving the existing garage which might hinder solar access, and ensuring no overshadowing of the neighbouring windows.

Sustainability Considerations To minimise waste and construction costs, the design retained much of the existing structure. The extension was crafted within a small footprint, balancing functionality, budget, and owner requirements. Emphasis was placed on natural light and ventilation, with a northfacing courtyard optimising solar access. The overhanging upper floor and under-slab insulation enhance thermal efficiency, while an exposed brick wall absorbs wood heater warmth. Large doors and windows enable crossflow ventilation. James Hardie Stria and brickwork claddings were chosen for their aesthetics, durability, and low maintenance. The integration of recycled brick further adds to the building’s sustainability and resilience.

Right: View to the rear of the extension showcasing the large cantilevering upper floor and large doors which open onto the alfresco and pool area.


Judges’ Comments The James Hardy cladding used in this project is exceptional, adding to the overall beauty and functionality of the home. It’s evident that great care was taken in its selection and incorporation. The contrast between the old front and the new back, achieved through the cladding, is well-executed and visually appealing. This project is a great achievement, combining a warm colour palette with fixtures, fittings, and furnishings to create a welcoming and homely family home. Congratulations to all involved for a job well done.



Location: Kojonup, WA Designer: Anne Courtney Bennett | Bennett Design Studio Website: Builder: Prandi Builders Energy Assessor: Jeffrey Iwansantoso | Structerre Consulting Photographer: Kirsten Sivyer

Project Brief To renovate a bathroom in a 150-year-old farmhouse, aiming to create a functional, easy-to-maintain space for a family of six and future generations. The design was required to incorporate a specific tile the client liked, ensure easy cleaning, and feature water-efficient fixtures while respecting the home’s historical essence. Challenges included the unknown integrity of the mud walls, the constraint of working within existing walls, accommodating four kids aged 13-23, and adhering to a tight budget following a costly renovation.

Sustainability Considerations The bathroom, located on the house’s cooler southern side, incorporated water-efficient fixtures and an optimised heat pump location for energy efficiency. Extensive air sealing in the aged structure enhanced insulation, with LED lighting enhancing energy efficiency. Sustainability was a focus; the original build’s footprint was largely maintained, and the farm’s self-reliant water system was optimized with updated plumbing. Material reuse and effective waste management, including recycling and on-site disposal, minimised environmental impact. The septic tank system managed waste, aligning with the property’s selfsustained approach.

It may look like an ordinary bathroom, but it is, arguably, the hardest working bathroom in the Great Southern. With 4 kids between 13 and 23 vying for its affection it needed to outwit, outlast and outplay. The design concept was ‘look great, work even harder’.


Judges’ Comments This project displays an exceptional transformation of an old farmhouse into a vibrant, modern, yet historically respectful living space. The detailed approach incorporates abundant natural light and introduces an environmentally conscious design. The overall aesthetic and functional design considerations are commendable. The incorporation of both contemporary and rustic elements breathes life and modernity into this home while maintaining its historical essence, ensuring it is tailored for comfortable, sustainable living for generations to come. The harmonioaus blend of past and present elements epitomises elegant, conscious design.



Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

The brief sought to retain the existing framework of the home, aiming for a low carbon footprint renovation that enhanced its liveability and matched a new build’s value. The design focused on energy self-sufficiency, with a roof tailored for a comprehensive solar setup. Material choices were to be carbon-conscious, with minimal use of masonry and concrete. The home needed to comfortably house a family of four yet remain versatile enough that the design would appeal to a broad market. This foresight in adaptability was intended to guarantee the home’s sustainability and longevity, giving it the potential to stand proud for at least another half-century.

Retaining the home’s original structure avoided over 400 tonnes of CO2 emissions compared to rebuilding with bricks and concrete. The addition of a timber frame sequestered carbon, enhancing the home’s environmental footprint. Strategic ventilation, leveraging the Bernoulli Principle, and ceiling-height doubleglazed windows ensure efficient airflow and thermal regulation, eliminating the need for air conditioning and heating. A highly efficient hydronic floor heating system complements insulation measures. Powered by a 13kW solar and battery system, the electrically-run home is self-sufficient, covering over 90% of its energy needs, and includes a Tesla EV charging station.

The bathroom’s design exudes elegance, marked by a captivating curve theme that’s consistently employed throughout the home, echoing an Art Deco feel. Praise is directed at the thoughtful design and high-quality detailing, with the bathroom wall tiles receiving particular acclaim for their aesthetic appeal. The blend of modern and luxurious finishes conjures a bright and welcoming ambiance in the bathroom, illustrating a meticulous fusion of style and functionality in a light-filled, contemporary setting.

Where contemporary chic meets classic: The bathroom pairs understated tilework with striking marble and brass accents, crafting a space of refined relaxation and enduring style.


Location: Mt Lawley, WA Designer: Adrian Fratelle | Ecohabit Website: Builder: Owner Builder Energy Assessor: Leading Energy Photographer: Peter Ellery


DONCASTER RESIDENCES WINNER Dual Occupancy (EC) People’s Choice Award Runner-Up (EC)

Location: Doncaster, VIC Designer: Michael Kiegaldie | Archified Website: Builder: Oaklake Homes Energy Assessor: Tharakie Dona Photographer: Emily Bartlett

Project Brief To create dual occupancy dwellings for two brothers, allowing proximity yet independence. The design sought to blend with the surroundings while emphasizing modernist architecture, both in the exterior façade and contemporary, light-filled interiors with open living spaces. Prioritizing clean lines, minimalist aesthetics, and a neutral color palette, the dwellings aimed for a timeless modern look. They needed to be similar in size for uniformity and efficient land use, with secluded private spaces on opposite sides and welcoming entrances. Future adaptability for occupants of all ages and abilities was also a key consideration.

Judges’ Comments This project shines with its thoughtful design and execution. The clean and simple aesthetic, coupled with an appealing colour scheme, draws attention. Detailed and well-documented photos capture the project’s essence. The brick choice effectively addresses the ‘brick covenant’ and adds unique street appeal, ensuring the properties are distinct. The project impressively considers the future occupants and community longevity. The homes’ light, flow, colour palette, and clean lines create an inviting living environment. It’s a job well done, despite the site’s challenges, with commendable design and meticulous finishes.


Sustainability Considerations A passive solar design maximises natural light and ventilation, reducing the need for artificial lighting and air conditioning. Energy efficiency is improved through double glazing and enhanced insulation, reducing energy consumption. Sustainable materials, such as clay bricks with carbon-neutral certification, are used to minimise the project’s environmental footprint. Waste generation during construction is minimised through recycling, and the compact, efficient design optimises space and promotes a greener living environment with additional landscaping opportunities.


HUFF ‘N PUFF HAUS WINNER Environmentally Sustainable Design (EC) New House $1,000,001 - $2M (EC) Residential Rural Design (EC)


Location: Ruffy, VIC Designer: Talina Edwards | Envirotecture Website: Builder: Hedger Constructions Energy Assessor: Detail Green (NAtHERS & Passivhaus Certification) AND Shared Space Architecture (Passivhaus Consultant) Photographer: Marnie Hawson

Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

To design a regenerative home that prioritises both aesthetics and ethical responsibility. It aims to go beyond just reducing harm and instead seeks to create a positive impact on people and the environment. Located in Ruffy, Victoria, on a remote, off-grid site, the home should serve as both a weekender and a permanent residence, with separate guest accommodations. It must be resilient, adaptable to a changing climate, and secure from bushfires. The design evolved from a “strawbale home” to a Passivhaus standard for health, comfort, and energy efficiency, while also emphasising a strong connection to the surrounding landscape and maximising energy efficiency, even with south-facing windows.

The sustainability considerations for this home are focused on achieving true zero carbon emissions by harnessing solar energy for both the house and an electric vehicle. It’s an all-electric, self-sufficient home with Solar PV and Passivhaus Plus standards, boasting minimal heating/cooling needs. Passive solar design, low embodied-carbon materials like straw, and prefabrication reduce environmental impact. The design emphasises healthy indoor air quality, adaptability for future use, biophilic design, and accessibility. Additionally, the home must withstand harsh rural conditions, including bushfires, and promote water self-sufficiency. The clients aim to regenerate the land, making it a collaborative effort with a sustainable focus.



An integral part of the design was creating flexibility of use, with one wing of the house occupied by its permanent residents while the second wing can adapt to fulfill the needs of visiting family and friends.

Judges’ Comments The judges were beyond impressed with everything about this stunning home that has sustainability at its core. A delightful home, great documentation and photography, beautiful use of materials and that rendered strawbale construction adds such warmth and character to the interior. A simple but exceptionally well-executed design which has resulted in an excellent rural home with great fundamentals and that is truly at the top end of sustainable design. Amazing!


ROSEBERY RESIDENCE WINNER Excellence in Use of Glass (WC)

Location: Bedford, WA Designer: Heath Moloney | Designhaus Perth Website: Builder: Mindful Homes Energy Assessor: Energy Wise Australia Photographer: Marc Ash Photography Project Brief The clients sought to transition from a large two-storey home to a single-storey, narrowlot design that maximises northern light and outdoor living spaces. They prioritised a spacious feel, a dedicated office space, and flexibility throughout the home, accommodating their work-from-home needs without compromising the ambience of relaxation areas. With only three bedrooms required, the challenge was to optimise limited site cover while exploring various elevation options, from modern contemporary to skillion roof styles, ensuring the home remains expansive and inviting.

Sustainability Considerations The home, a downsizing initiative, is a 3-bedroom space optimised for a couple who work from home, offering flexibility across all areas. North-facing design and thoughtful insulation achieve energy efficiency and a 6-star rating. The living space, enriched by natural light and cross breezes, minimises air conditioning use. With a design that emphasises seasonal adaptability, occupants enjoy indoor and outdoor living year-round. The house, while currently tailored for a couple with occasional visitors, offers comfort, efficiency, and adaptability for future living needs.

The primary living spaces and the courtyard are designed for comfort and pleasure throughout all seasons. Regardless of the climate conditions, these areas can be enjoyed at any time.


Judges’ Comments The use of glass in this home is commended for enhancing natural light and fostering an indooroutdoor connection. Specifically tailored for a narrow lot, the design effectively harnesses north-facing sunlight, utilising louvres for cross ventilation. Skylights and large glass panels are acknowledged for contributing to the home’s passive heating and ambient lighting. While the design’s simplicity and efficient use of space are applauded, the incorporation of glass stands out as a key element, illuminating interiors, and elevating the home’s aesthetic and functional appeal.


WELL TEMPERED HOUSE WINNER Excellence use of Bricks (EC)

Location: Naarm, VIC Designer: Shae Parker McCashen | Green Sheep Collective Website: Builder: Elyte Focus Energy Assessor: Filter ESD Photographer: Erhan Tirli

Project Brief The Well Tempered House design is driven by efficiency, modern aesthetics, and functionality. The project brief was to renovate and extend a professional couple’s weatherboard terrace house, prioritising natural light and thermal efficiency while maintaining its charm. The design incorporates a hi-fi room and a spacious open-plan kitchen and living area, connecting indoors with the garden. Situated south of a bluestone laneway on a narrow, east-west aligned block, the design needed to maximise space and sunlight, ensuring privacy and security. The result is an energy-efficient home balancing tailored spaces for individual interests and communal living areas.

The interior areas are designed to be spacious, intelligent, and resourceful. Where possible, constructed components serve multiple purposes. The staircase incorporates storage solutions, and the dining room bench extends to function as a TV stand, ingeniously situated to increase seating capacity in a space that is limited in width.



Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

Passive solar design principles are employed, utilising the site’s orientation for optimal sunlight and energy use. Material efficiency is prioritised, with multifunctional spaces and recycled materials reducing waste and embodied energy. Waste from demolition and construction is minimised and recycled. Interior designs emphasise health, with low VOC materials and features that facilitate natural light and cross ventilation. Water conservation is achieved through slimline water tanks and low-flow fixtures. The design transforms a once dark, cold space into a vibrant, energy-efficient home.

This design brilliantly maximises the north facade, overcoming the challenge of a zero-lot setback from the lane with a clever solution. The use of bricks is fantastic, with diverse brick bonding and articulation creating a sense of home. The photos showcase perfect detail, and the focus on health and wellbeing through the use of raw materials is commendable. Love the home’s flow, connection of old to new, window placement, sustainability considerations and sophisticated colour palette, all of which create a beautifully relaxed atmosphere.

Windows facing north fill the living areas with light, making them appear more spacious than their modest size might indicate. A courtyard in the center and a lofty open space afford extra light, air circulation, and views of the garden from both the ground level and the mezzanine.



TREEHOUSE WINNER Excellence in the use of Glass (EC) Excellence in use of Timber (EC)


Location: Ocean Grove, VIC Designer: Guy Holman | Holman Designs Pty Ltd Website: Builder: Ben Vandeuren - Vand Builders Energy Assessor: Greg O’Beirne Photographer: Nic Stephens

Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

Located in Yellowgums estate, Ocean Grove, the project revolves around a central Bellarine Yellow Gum tree, chosen by the clients. The clients wanted the family home to emphasise the tree, face a North reserve, and have a private master suite to the East. Other design considerations included: four bedrooms with a separate kids’ wing; a nursery near the master suite; a spacious garage with a separate carport; a playroom near the tree; a self-contained studio at the property’s front; and prioritising privacy, with views to the tree (south) and easy backyard access facing north.

The home integrates local hardwood timber for windows and cladding, ensuring a low carbon footprint and supporting local resources. The timber windows surpass energy performance standards, and the design optimises solar access with a 16.2kw collection area, leading to minimal energy consumption. While the site naturally emphasised southfacing windows, the design minimised these for efficiency, replacing them with high-performing skylights. The home prioritises northern solar access in living areas and places wet areas & garages to the west. It also utilises electric appliances, relying on renewable energy, and harvests rainwater for garden use.

This home is built around a venerable 300-year-old flowering gum, honouring the natural environment through the use of organic materials. The structure of the home embraces the central tree, and the tree, in turn, stretches toward the dwelling, signifying a symbiotic bond that will continue for years ahead.


Judges’ Comments This home is a masterpiece, seamlessly integrating glass and timber to enhance its connection with the landscape. The clever use of angles and curves captures the sky, treetops, and surroundings, bringing the outdoors in. The timber, evident in windows, cladding, and detailing, establishes a harmonious link with the environment. The combination of black and natural timber cladding accentuates this connection. The inner courtyard, enveloped by the building, stands as a testament to the design team’s prowess, offering a serene space for relaxation.



ECO BARN HOUSE WINNER Excellence use of Lightweight Materials (WC)

Category: Excellence in Use of Lightweight Materials Location: Witchcliffe Ecovillage, WA Designer: Irene Coveney, Coveney Browne Design Website: Builder: Tallwood Constructions WA Energy Assessor: GTB Building Consulting Services Photographer: Niall Browne - Coveney Browne Architects

Project Brief To design a retirement home in the Witchcliffe Ecovillage, a sustainable development, that adheres to passive solar principles, achieving a minimum 7-star energy efficiency. The home had to be carbon negative, aligning with the village’s self-sufficiency in energy and water. To reflect the rustic aesthetic of southwest country towns while offering modern amenities. Located on a corner site, the home had to present an inviting façade from multiple angles and foster community interaction, particularly towards the shared garden and to accommodate the clients and future potential buyers, featuring a master suite, guest wing, and spacious living areas connecting to outdoor spaces. The design also had to meet AS3959 for bushfire-prone areas. Sustainability Considerations The house exceeds the Ecovillage Design Guideline requirements, boasting 100% self-sufficiency in renewable energy and water, a 140% carbon offset, and an 8-star energy efficiency rating. Key features include a 10kW photovoltaic system, a large rainwater tank, and waterwise plumbing fixtures. The modestly sized building, made with low VOC materials, ensures optimal natural light and ventilation. Double glazing and thermal mass elements are integral for temperature regulation. Local sourcing and sustainable materials were prioritised, contributing to the home’s environmental friendliness. The design integrates technology and sustainability, offering a model for eco-conscious living.


Judges’ Comments The use of lightweight materials is evident in the design, showcasing an efficient and sustainable approach. The extensive use of timber, both as cladding for external walls and throughout living areas, has been highlighted and appreciated. The house doesn’t just meet but exceeds the Eco Village’s design objectives, earning an 8-star energy rating. With the use of local builders, suppliers, recycled materials, and energy-efficient appliances, the property stands as a testament to eco-conscious design, beautifully merging functionality and sustainability while staying true to the aesthetic appeal.



Location: West Footscray, VIC Designer: Aydan Doherty | AD Design Develop Website: Builder: Design by AD Energy Assessor: Caleb Young | Green Rate Photographer: Tatjana Plitt


WINNER Excellence in the use of Lightweight Materials (EC) Excellence in the use of Recycled Materials (EC)

Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

The design brief focused on adding a single storey to an existing interwar weatherboard dwelling, transforming it into a three-bedroom family home with a modest rear living area. Initiated during lockdown, the addition includes a separate studio for remote work, emphasising separation to maintain work discipline. The project explored optimising the existing architecture, occasionally compromising layout. Emphasising natural light, durability, and a garden-centric living experience, the design prioritises indoor-outdoor connection and blends two closely built structures. The result is a functional, aesthetically pleasing family home that respects its historical context and minimises waste.

The project prioritised a small footprint, reduced gas appliances, and oriented glazing northwest, using natural shading. Existing red bricks were reused, and landfill was minimised by leveraging the existing structure. The design aimed to repurpose elements of the original home, transforming perceived drawbacks into assets. The existing garage was converted into a studio, boundary walls framed a private courtyard, and an old bungalow chimney in the kitchen was repurposed as an open fireplace for the new living space, emphasising the philosophy of adapting to, rather than demolishing, existing elements.



Judges’ Comments The renovation and extension brilliantly showcase the use of recycled and lightweight materials in a design that is both environmentally responsible and aesthetically striking. The recycled bricks, harmoniously combined with the garden landscape and black steel cladding, offer a delightful outdoor relaxation space. The design team has masterfully integrated sustainable choices to

craft interior spaces that are intimate private retreats. Coastal and relaxing in essence, this home seamlessly blends with its context, epitomising a well-executed indoor-outdoor concept. Emphasising the home’s connection to its surroundings, it’s a testament to sustainable and thoughtful design. Truly, a delightful architectural marvel.


VICTORIA AVENUE WINNER Excellence in Use of Stone (WC) Kitchen Design (WC)

Location: Bedford, WA Designer: Daniel Lomma | Daniel Lomma Design Website: Energy Assessor: Ecorate WA Photographer: Silvertone Photography

Project Brief The clients sought a transition from traditional interiors to a modern aesthetic emphasising cool greys, textured surfaces, and clean lines for their mostly new build, with a partial renovation. The focus was on using durable, easy-to-clean materials like large format porcelain and advanced laminates to withstand the activities of a growing family and social gatherings. The design needed to be contemporary yet timeless, ensuring relevance for decades as this is their forever home. Integrating interior and expertly landscaped exterior spaces was crucial, aiming for a seamless connection that allows the outdoors to act as a living artwork. Sustainability Considerations The clients opted to renovate rather than demolish, saving materials from landfill and reusing existing elements. Natural stone and low-embodied energy materials updated the aesthetic. Solar panels and batteries were installed for energy efficiency. The design maximised natural light and winter sun access through the strategic placement of courtyards and voids, benefiting both new and existing spaces. The introduction of an openable Vergola system replaced the old alfresco roof, enhancing solar control and ventilation.


Contemporary design with sharp, linear features set the stage for a subdued grey color scheme in the interior. This led to the selection of a versatile porcelain floor that resembles grey limestone, with a smooth finish indoors and a textured one for the outdoors. The large, durable tiles minimise grout lines, making maintenance easier and creating a sleek, unified appearance.


Judges’ Comments The integration of intricate stonework, coupled with a diverse array of sustainable and luxurious materials, characterises the elegance and sophistication of this renovated home. The stone elements work in harmony with the innovative design features, including tailored lightwells and strategic room orientations, to optimise natural lighting and promote energy efficiency. The incorporation of detailed

Calcutta Black by Florim enhances the neutral backdrop with a modern twist on the classic Calcutta marble, showcasing traditional veining against a striking dark base. It contributes depth and elegance to the interior palette, complementing the structure without overpowering it. A matte gloss finish ensures that it harmonizes with surrounding materials without dominating them.


documentation has aided in manifesting a design that’s not only visually compelling but also functional, meeting the tailored needs of the occupants. The architectural feat exemplifies a harmonious blend of luxury, practicality, and sustainability. Every detail, from the meticulous planning to the final execution, reflects a pursuit of excellence and innovation.


LITTLE APPLE WINNER Excellence in the use of Timber(WC) New House $750,001 - $1M (WC) Location: Applecross, WA Designer: Tim Veurink | Timeless Home Designs Website: Builder: Ryan Winston - Blanc Homes Energy Assessor: Constructive building consultants Photographer: Dion Robeson

Project Brief To design a tailored home for the clients’ aging parents that balanced functionality and style. Nestled on a 252.8m² property with R40 zoning, the design includes three bedrooms and bathrooms, dual living areas, and a double garage. Accessibility and comfort are prioritised with master bedrooms on both floors to accommodate mobility concerns. A minimalistic, contemporary façade encapsulates the residence, integrating an open-plan living area that seamlessly extends into an alfresco courtyard. The design, influenced by previous admired projects, offers three distinct, aesthetically pleasing elevation options.

Positioning the courtyard at the entrance enabled the addition of an angled window that not only expands the garden view and creates an attractive green space but also provides a pleasant approach to the kitchen and living areas.


Sustainability Considerations Despite the property’s narrow width and depth, with north facing the front, strategic design measures ensured optimal solar orientation. The courtyard and entry, placed on the east, facilitate early day natural warmth and light during winter. A large corner window further enhances light intake. The first floor’s stepped design maximises winter sunlight, mitigating

potential shadows from neighbouring constructions. A garden courtyard by the dining area not only adds aesthetic value but also invites afternoon winter sun. The inclusion of solar panels and provision for future batteries underscore the commitment to sustainable energy use, while a London Plane tree aligns with the street’s landscape.


Judges’ Comments Exceptional design amidst the constraints of the block! Its moody interior design and strategic use of timber, particularly the colours and the continuity of timber flooring outside, are appreciated. A standout feature is the garage door, whose colours perfectly blend with the overall design. The use of vertical black timber


batter in the entrance, contrasting with the light palette and accentuated by the abundant natural light from a large corner window, makes a strong, artistic statement. The side courtyard enhances natural light penetration, solidifying the home’s harmonious indoor/ outdoor spaces.

DIPLACIDO RESIDENCE WINNER New House $2,000,001 - $3M (WC)

Location: Beckenham, WA Designer: Shayne Le Roy, Shayne Le Roy Design Website: Builder: GR Morabito Energy Assessor: Ecorate WA Photographer: Joel Barbitta

Project Brief A couple with young children sought a longterm family home on their spacious riverbank property in Benkenham. The design needed to include a large open plan living area to accommodate extensive family gatherings, a central, spacious kitchen and scullery, and be adaptable for their expanding family. Additional requirements were a lift for lifetime accessibility, a large backyard for outdoor activities, and a sizable garage for luxury cars. The materials and finishes should be easy to maintain. High ceilings with intricate details to enhance the home’s style, a secluded home theatre, and a modern Australian Farmhouse aesthetic were also desired.




Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

A 14kW PV system equipped with batteries is installed in the garage, ensuring an efficient and sustainable energy supply for the home. In addition, the design incorporates passive solar principles to optimise natural light and heat, enhancing the home’s energy efficiency and comfort. The walls are fully insulated with cavity wall insulation, a feature that not only boosts the home’s thermal efficiency but also contributes to a significant reduction in energy consumption, promoting a comfortable indoor climate throughout the various seasons.

The design exudes style and elegance with its grand and well-balanced structure. Arch windows and consistent colour choices throughout amplify the home’s sophistication. The interior, characterised by spaciousness, features an internal glass wall that elegantly separates living spaces. A stunning brick fireplace, flanked by beautiful arched windows, injects a Mediterranean flair, further accentuated by glamorous parquetry flooring and a sweeping curved staircase. While it has the allure of a show home, the exquisite modern farmhouse finish ensures it retains a warm, inviting atmosphere. Every detail, meticulously crafted, elevates the home’s aesthetic appeal.

The home’s two-level design caters to a young family’s daily life and entertainment needs for a large extended family. The ground floor, the family’s activity center, is optimised for daily living while ensuring separate spaces for various uses without interference.


ROSEDALE CIRCUIT WINNER New House $300,001 - $500K (EC)


Location: Carnes Hill, NSW Designer: Byron Clima | Sydney Drafting Concepts & Design Website: Builder: Giuseppe Russo Energy Assessor: Sydney Drafting Concepts & Design Photographer: Stefanie Calos

Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

To design a single-storey residence with four bedrooms, the main featuring a large walk-in robe and ensuite. Other elements included built-in robes, a main bathroom, media room, and an open-plan rear area comprising a kitchen with recycled brickwork separating the walk-in pantry and laundry. The design needed to be budget-friendly, simple yet effective, differentiating from standard local homes. Distinct features like a flat roof, recycled brick, an earthy colour palette, and a raised ceiling in the entry foyer were key. Significant attention was given to landscaping, incorporating floating concrete steps leading to a cantilevered roof over the front porch, enhancing the home’s welcoming and open character.

Facing the challenge of bringing sunlight into a north-facing, single-storey residence, the design raised the front entry and added extra windows to illuminate hallways and rear living areas. The raised ceiling and additional windows in these areas create a welcoming, open feel, essential for entertaining guests. Durability and low embodied energy were pivotal in the design, considering factors like site orientation, building envelope, structural system, energy and water efficiency, interior finishes, and lifecycle considerations. Measures included minimising construction disturbance, employing double glazing, and planning for future solar panel installation. The house also integrates recycled water usage and features insulation for enhanced thermal efficiency.

Judges’ Comments This home delivers a simple and clean design. The fantastic photos reveal meticulous attention to detail and excellent documentation. The recycled brick colour palette, both inside and out, enhances the overall appeal and it undoubtedly fulfills the client’s desire for a unique and budget-friendly family home, demonstrating creative solutions within constraints.


TREE HOUSE WINNER New House $500,001 - $750K (WC)

Location: Wembley, WA Designer: Kyle Stacey | Stack Design Website: Builder: Litehouse Building Energy Assessor: James Cross | Northern Aspect Energy Consultants Photographer: Denise Rix


Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

The clients purchased a property in Wembley Downs with a spectacular view and significant local tree presence. The challenging hilltop site required a home that harmonized with the local environment, preserving native trees and aligning with community sentiments. Merging Japanese heritage with modern Australian architecture, the design needed to achieve a cultural blend. With a modest net budget, prioritising costs was crucial. Key features include maximising the view without removing a significant tree, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a study/Washitsu, a Genkan entryway, adaptable multi-use spaces, and an under croft for parking, gym, and storage. Aesthetically, a modern Australian home inspired by Japanese architecture and local 1960-70s designs was envisioned.

The project achieved a 7.0 Stars NatHERs rating, despite challenges posed by the site and desired views. Collaborating with Northern Aspect energy, the design was refined to meet sustainability targets. With a compact 167m2 footprint, the design is smaller than average Perth homes and retains significant mature trees. The home’s orientation, accentuated by its rotation, optimises solar benefits and offers controlled sunlight exposure. The efficient design maintains comfortable temperatures throughout the year. Green construction materials, such as Greenstar concrete and sustainably sourced timber, are key features. Additionally, a 6kw PV system is installed, ready for future battery integration.


Judges’ Comments This exquisitely designed home showcases a magical use of glass to seamlessly bringing the outside in. Every detail, from the material choices to layout, has been thoughtfully executed, offering a perfect blend of form and function. Its inherent simplicity, combined with the artful integration of heritage elements, speaks volumes of innovation. Central to this design is a versatile courtyard, functioning as an all-season living space, benefitting from the home’s natural thermal attributes. By respecting both budget constraints and neighbourhood heritage, this home stands as a testament to simplicity and ingenuity. An uncluttered, serene haven of tranquillity.




Location: Castlemaine, VIC Designer: Anthony Jenkin | OUTLIER. Website: Builder: David Millard | EcoWise Homes Energy Assessor: Shane Butler | Domain Energy Photographer: Marnie Hawson

Project Brief The brief outlined a design for an energyefficient, aesthetically pleasing home for retiring clients, focused on sustainability, affordability, and comfortable living. Essential features included an open floor plan with a kitchen, living room, dining area, and at least two bedrooms, all made from eco-friendly materials like reclaimed brick and timber. The design needed to support aging-in-place with minimal maintenance costs. Key design elements involved maximising natural light and ventilation, employing passive solar energy and solar panels, and using energyefficient appliances to minimise utility bills and environmental impact. The home was to be aesthetically minimalistic with natural materials, incorporating a swimming pool and easy-tomaintain green spaces. Cost-effectiveness in both construction and maintenance was crucial, aligning with the clients’ wish for a beautiful yet responsible home.

Right: A cantilevered balcony was chosen to allow unobstructed access to the courtyard and create an impressive visual of the upper floor seemingly suspended above the native foliage when viewed from the street. The building’s exterior uses recycled brick, Colorbond, and natural Australian hardwood to meet BAL 29 fire safety standards, while the gable roof accommodates the land’s incline and enhances solar energy production.



Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

The Castlemaine Hybrid House is an allelectric, net positive energy home constructed in line with passive house principles: thermal bridge-free construction, continuous insulation, high-performance, thermally broken windows, air tightness, and continuous heat recovery ventilation. Features include a heat pump hot water system, induction cooktop, air source heat pump for heating/cooling, and low wattage LED lights, complemented by a 6.6kW solar system with battery and EV connections. It achieves a 4-star WELS rating for plumbing, uses drought-tolerant native plants, and includes a 10,000L rainwater tank. Over 90% of the materials were recycled or repurposed, with a focus on low VOC paints and sustainable timber. A mechanical heat recovery ventilation system ensures optimal indoor air quality, while home automation optimises energy use during peak solar times. It’s set to possibly be the first NatHERS rated 10-star home.

A magical home with brilliant images showcasing its extraordinary beauty. It stands as a testament to sustainable design initiatives, notably the adaptation of PassiveHaus principles for Australian conditions. The thoughtful layout, consideration of embodied energy, and environmental impact make it an exemplary project. It demonstrates a profound understanding of sustainable design measures and fulfills the client’s brief with exceptional quality in both design and construction. Congratulations on a remarkable effort towards a 10-star achievement in sustainability.

The design form addresses the site’s unique limitations, especially the 12-meter-high northern siltstone cliff and the tight construction area dictated by BAL 29 fire safety regulations. The living area is set back from the cliff to optimise northern sunlight and solar benefits.





Location: Kyneton, VIC Designer: Sven Maxa | Maxa Design Website: Builder: Sanctum Homes Energy Assessor: Graham Energy Photographer: Marnie Hawson

Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

A young family moving to the countryside commissioned the design of their dream home, emphasising efficiency, sustainability, and integration with the natural landscape, particularly the nearby lake. They required a lowmaintenance, light-filled home within a modest budget. Their preference for a contemporary, modern Australian interior was met with the use of earthy materials like timber cladding, corrugated iron, recycled bricks, and rammed earth. Timber was chosen for its natural beauty and low-maintenance aging process. Polished concrete floors added to the home’s contemporary, yet easy-to-maintain character. Overall, they desired a rustic/rural aesthetic with clean lines and natural textures.

This home, designed to meet the demanding PassivHaus standards and awaiting certification, excels in energy efficiency and thermal performance, evident in its high NatHERS rating of 8.2 stars. It maintains stable temperatures year-round with minimal heating or cooling. Key features include a heat recovery ventilation system for superior indoor air quality, triple-glazed windows, super-insulated envelope, and optimal orientation for solar gain. Running entirely on electricity, it benefits from solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and generates energy credits. Sustainable construction elements include timber cladding, Colorbond sheeting, and rainwater storage, alongside efficient tapware. Overall, the house exemplifies eco-friendly living with minimal environmental impact.

Right: The bedroom wing wall extends in a curve towards the street, marking the house’s entrance. Native plants and porous materials merge the boundary between the surrounding bush and the home’s location.


The materials include polished concrete floors for a modern look with low upkeep and long-lasting quality. A spacious, well-lit atmosphere was essential. The clients wanted a modern yet rustic feel, emphasising simple elegance and natural finishes.

Judges’ Comments A beautifully designed home that addresses the challenge of an awkward orientation remarkably well. It serves as a stunning example of what a performance-based home can achieve. The choice of materials, colours, and curves in the exterior design is visually captivating. The interior flows seamlessly with a relaxed colour palette, creating a true home and the overall design meets the site’s demands.



OCEAN BLUE LOOP WINNER New House $1,000,001 - $2M (WC)

Location: Peppermint Grove Beach, WA Designer: Michael Lurie | Lurie Concepts Website: Builder: Challis Builders Energy Assessor: Greenhive Eco Photographer: Dion Robeson

Project Brief The brief centred on designing a home that harmonises with its majestic coastal surroundings, serving as a serene weekend retreat with the flexibility to transform into a permanent residence. Key features included low-maintenance, energy-efficient design with distinct master and guest wings and dual outdoor spaces to maximise the scenic views. Challenges comprised ensuring privacy amidst public access ways, adhering to height and setback regulations, minimising building bulk on a sloping terrain, and anticipating potential obstruction of northern views. The essence was to unite living spaces with the natural coastal environment seamlessly.

Nestled in a serene coastal hamlet, the Ocean Blue Loop House stands out from the nearby traditional architecture while seeking to harmonise with and enhance the natural surroundings.


Sustainability Considerations Sustainability is integral in this home design, as it is in all Lurie Concept designs. Though the glass link posed an energy efficiency challenge, zoning isolation enhances performance. To mitigate excessive solar access without compromising views, living areas were oriented northwest, and a 15-degree enclosed vertical eave installed for sun-shading. Sun control on the south and east included window surrounds and reduced glazing. Operable windows optimise cross-ventilation. The thermal mass of rammed earth and concrete floors, coupled with additional insulation in the walls and roof, promotes thermal efficiency, reducing dependence on mechanical systems. These measures collectively ensure a sustainable, energy-efficient dwelling.


Judges’ Comments The harmonious alignment of colour, style, materials, and location creates a mesmerising effect. A testament to the power of simplicity, every detail of the external facade exudes a high-end, contemporary elegance. The slanted wall and meticulous detailing enhance the property’s allure. With a design that masterfully combats the summer sun, it harmonises with the breathtaking views. The breezeway and green courtyard accentuate the home’s inviting aura, while the contrast of concrete and timber elevates its aesthetic appeal. An exemplary fulfilment of the client’s brief.


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EAGLE BAY BEACH HOUSE WINNER New House $2,000,001 - $3M (WC)

Location: Eagle Bay, WA Designer: Dane Richardson | Dane Design Australia Website: Builder: Dane Design Australia Energy Assessor: Structerre Consulting Photographer: Ange Wall Photographer

Project Brief To design a two-storey beachside holiday home in the high fire-risk area of Eagle Bay, accommodating a family and extended family members. Key aspects included open-plan living areas, an expansive balcony for ocean views, various bedrooms, and an activity room. The design emphasised the integration of natural light, use of textured and siteappropriate materials, and passive thermal principles for energy efficiency and comfort. Although spacious, a restrained design ensured elegance and harmony with the coastal surroundings. DDA, serving as both the designer and contractor, adeptly executed the construction to high standards, within budget and schedule.

To counter the strong south-westerly winds for occupant comfort and safety, the house’s L-shaped design placed guest bedrooms and a games room on the ground floor, looking onto a sunny, wind-sheltered courtyard to the north. This design offered both a practical response to the weather and improved the home’s layout.



Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

The project employs a multifaceted design strategy to optimise energy efficiency and sustainability. Utilising passive solar design principles, it ensures effective cross-ventilation and optimal winter solar access, maintaining a stable internal temperature. Tiled concrete floors, a durable material palette, and considerations for high fire risk contribute to the home’s resilience and low maintenance needs. Features like energy-efficient lighting, thermal glazing, and water-saving fixtures align with Environmentally Sustainable Design principles. The flexible layout adapts to evolving needs, ensuring long-term usability while maximising natural light and seasonal thermal benefits.

Each requirement of the client’s brief has been meticulously met and design constraints adeptly addressed. It’s evident there’s a mastery in balancing minimalist detailing with the innate warmth of materials like stone and timber. Appreciate the L-shaped design which not only echoes the client’s desire for an understated aesthetic but also cleverly maximises the home’s defence against the elements and enhances its performance. It’s a dance of functionality and elegance, culminating in a design that can only be described as both breathtaking and intricately crafted.

Right: Beachside Northeast Corner





Location: North Beach, WA Designer: Shayne Le Roy | Shayne Le Roy Design Website: Builder: Spadaccini Homes Energy Assessor: Joe Cangelosi Photographer: Joel Barbitta

Project Brief To design a dream home for a retired couple who wanted to embrace the coastal lifestyle on their oceanfront, northwest-facing corner site, boasting panoramic ocean views. The project was split into two structures: a three-level main residence aiming to optimise ocean vistas, with amenities for relaxation, leisure, entertainment, and fitness within a 4-bedroom setting. The design was to include an internal lift for long-term residence. The secondary structure would serve as a 1-bedroom guest apartment with added parking for the couple’s car collection. Both houses needed to emphasise durable materials for coastal conditions and the client requested high-end finishes, advanced home automation, and a dedicated gymnasium.

Below: The basement level of the home focuses on health and recreation, featuring a large gym and sauna space with views of the pool and the ocean.



Sustainability Considerations In response to the westward orientation, the design incorporated energy-efficient materials to mitigate the intense solar exposure, ensuring a comfortable indoor climate. High-efficiency double glazing was employed throughout. The open plan living, benefitting from northern exposure via the dining area, captures winter warmth. Additionally, a PV solar system reduces electrical consumption, with surplus energy returned to the grid. A reverse osmosis system, utilising collected rooftop water, facilitates window cleaning, underscoring the home’s sustainability ethos.



Judges’ Comments The design impressively captures and maximises the panoramic views, showcased with grandeur and consistent interiors. Attention to intricate details and luxurious finishes underscore the sheer opulence of this exquisite home. The design team has excelled in meeting the client’s comprehensive brief. The façade stands out as a stunning testament to architectural achievement, while fitting its surroundings. Given the scale of the project, it’s commendable how well the client’s specific needs a nd preferences were integrated.


FERRARS & YORK WINNER Multi-Residential over $6M (EC)

Location: South Melbourne, VIC Designer: Alice Mulleeney | HIP V. HYPE Website: Builder: Ironside Energy Assessor: Louis Manley Photographer: Tess Kelly

Project Brief With escalating extreme weather, there’s an urgent need for carbon-neutral, all-electric building exemplars to promote positive environmental change. Ferrars & York, a collaboration between HIP V. HYPE and Six Degrees Architects, is a manifestation of this vision, building on their previous project, Nightingale 2.0. Situated near South Melbourne Market, this development on a slender plot next to South Melbourne light rail embodies responsible urban housing development. The project prioritises low-impact living, offering comfortable apartments that are cost-effective, user-friendly, and powered by 100% renewable energy. Ferrars & York stands as a testament to sustainable, all-electric, carbon-neutral living in Australia.


Above: Ferrars & York comprises twenty-two apartments, ranging from one to three bedrooms, boasting an average energy efficiency rating of 8.6 out of 10, with the top-performing unit reaching 9.3 stars. On the ground floor, the retail area hosts the Ferrars & York Collective by HIP V. HYPE, a coworking space for eco-conscious companies, alongside Bike Gallery, a boutique cycling shop.


Sustainability Considerations Ferrars & York apartments are carbon-neutral in construction and operation, boasting an average 8.6-star energy rating. Collaboration between HIP V. HYPE’s sustainability team and Six Degrees Architects optimised building design for natural light, cross-flow ventilation, and passive heating and cooling. The project’s Life Cycle Assessment highlighted a carbon footprint of 3,740 tonnes of CO2, which was offset. Timber salvaged from the site prevented ~26 tonnes of carbon from re-entering the atmosphere and was repurposed in local businesses. The building uses double glazing, insulation, reclaimed materials, and an Energy Recovery Ventilation system. Powered by 100% GreenPower, the building includes solar panels and provisions for electric vehicle charging. Each apartment is designed to significantly reduce energy consumption, with a sustainability manual provided to residents to maximise these benefits.


Judges’ Comments Wow, what a building! This is a masterpiece that showcases a high level of design skill with a remarkable blend of cool design, beautiful aesthetics, and great interiors. It expertly addresses various needs, from sophisticated single-life apartments to family-friendly spaces, all while embracing the area’s historical context with its saw-tooth roofline. The use of recycled and recyclable materials, along with a focus on sustainability, sets an example for responsible design.


COODE STREET WINNER Multi-Residential up to $6M (WC)

Location: South Perth, WA Designer: Shayne Le Roy | Shayne Le Roy Design Website: Builder: Prestige Homes Energy Assessor: Thermarate Photographer: Finesse Property Photography

Project Brief To design four modern, low-maintenance family homes on 7500mm wide sites, each maximising park and city views through vertical living. Key features included internal light wells for spaciousness, accommodation for 4/5 family members, and at least three car parking spaces with storage. Lifts were essential for accessibility. The design faced challenges like a low-lying groundwater table affecting the building height and stormwater disposal, and town planning policies impacting street-facing property crossovers. Each home needed to balance contemporary aesthetics, family-friendly spaces, and site-specific challenges for a harmonious living experience.

Sustainability Considerations Sustainability was informed largely by the site’s specific attributes. Efforts were maximised to harness northern light for each property, ensuring natural illumination and warmth that could significantly reduce energy consumption. Additionally, Photovoltaic (PV) cells were installed to supplement power needs, further decreasing the properties’ reliance on grid energy and ensure enhanced energy efficiency and reduced utility costs for the residents.



Judges’ Comments The design impeccably navigated a complex brief, delivering spacious units that meld comfort and modern aesthetics. The homes encapsulate light, airy living with dual-level open spaces offering serene parkland views. The modern street appeal is a visual prelude to the interior’s opulence. A commendable execution aligning with the client’s desires and top-end build quality.


The ground floor includes a three-car garage and storage with direct access to the stairwell, laundry, and a home theatre/ games room opening to the outdoor area. An elevator provides access to all levels. An external staircase at the front leads to the first-floor entrance. The first floor serves as the children’s area, with two bedrooms, a study, and a separate living room. The top floor features open-plan living with a balcony to appreciate the views and contains the master bedroom.



WINNER Residential Alterations & Additions up to $350K

Location: Golden Square | VIC Designer: Jessica-Anne Johnson | Silo Building Designs Website: Builder: Michael Tonkin | Tonkin Constructions Energy Assessor: Shane Butler| Domain Energy Photographer: High Meadow Studios

Project Brief The project involved renovating a charming weatherboard home in a Heritage Overlay area of Bendigo. Aiming to respect the existing heritage while extending the rear, the addition included a new kitchen, study, master suite, and a living area with indoor/outdoor flow. he design needed to distinctively yet seamlessly integrate the old with the new, ensuring a smooth internal transition. Emphasis was placed on creating a light, bright space with a strong connection to the backyard. The renovation addressed structural issues like a decaying chimney and uneven foundations at the rear. Considerations were made for the clients’ expanding family, ensuring the home’s longevity and adaptability to their changing needs



Sustainability Considerations The rear of the home faces Northeast, so windows were strategically placed to maximise solar gain during winter while ensuring shade in summer. Bricks from an old building in Melbourne were repurposed, along with durable cladding to minimise maintenance. The compact yet functional footprint met all the client’s needs, allowing for efficient energy use and ensuring every space served a purpose. Judges’ Comments This renovation is a shining example of how light can transform a space. The addition of picture windows, especially the corner window seat, is a fabulous touch. The choice of materials and the cohesive colour scheme throughout the home is excellent. The kitchen, living, and dining area are particularly striking, with beautiful skylights and meticulous attention to detail. An impressive testament to the skill and vision of the design team.


New & Affordable Opportunities With Your Design Matters National Insurance Facility We’re thrilled to offer you a series of updates to make your insurance journey more beneficial and financially accessible.

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New Coverage Level For Victorian Design Matters National members, we now offer coverage starting at $1,000,000, with Costs in addition, effortlessly meeting the Victoria Building Authority (VBA)* requirements.

in su ra n ce P re fe rr e d r o f p rov id e

Premium Reduction We’re delighted to announce a slight decrease in premiums across all income bands. This reduction, though seemingly modest, is a significant advantage amidst rising inflation – a token of appreciation from our insurer for the currently insured members active role in risk management.

Excess Waiver Benefit The Design Matters National insurance program now includes 1 excess waiver per Professional Indemnity policy. This means if a claim occurs and an excess is due, it’s on us, with $0 for you to pay!

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*As per the VBA, the required Professional Indemnity insurance policy must specify a limit of indemnity not less than $1 million for any one claim, and in the aggregate for all claims during any one period of insurance, excluding Defence Costs.

**This option is available for Victorian members with a turnover less than $50,000, requiring $1,000,000 of cover, with no past claims, operating as a low-rise residential building designer. Please note that all quotes are subject to the insurer’s terms and conditions.

PROJECT ELSTREE WINNER Residential Alterations & Additions $350,001 - $800K (WC)

Location: Coolbinia, WA Designer: Sarandy Karagiannis | Sarandis Design & Build Website: Builder: Owner Builder Photographer: Adam Schaal

Project Brief To preserve the heritage of an aging character home while adhering to strict local council guidelines. The transformation vision blended classic elegance with modern luxury, merging the past and present. The design emphasised a timeless aesthetic in line with the home’s history, fostering harmonious indoor-outdoor living. Large rooms needed to cater to family needs, prioritising comfort, functionality, and privacy. Despite challenges, the design combined vintage charm with contemporary amenities, delivering a luxurious, environmentally conscious home that encapsulates sophisticated living and respects its historical context.




Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

Recycled roof tiles and bricks were used to minimise resource consumption and waste. Inside, instead of replacing the timber flooring, it was refurbished, conserving materials and reducing environmental impact from new manufacturing. The home’s design optimised natural lighting through strategic orientation and solar control, reducing energy use. Furthermore, by adhering to local guidelines and prioritising community integration, the project not only minimised its ecological footprint but also positively influenced the broader neighbourhood.

The project meets a fairly challenging brief well, displaying a well-thought-out design that merges a historic aesthetic with modern touches. Particularly impressive is the infusion of light and a striking kitchen transformation. The entrance, with its revamped patio and landscaping, offers a welcoming embrace, while the interior’s play of light and contrasting floorboards exudes warmth. The design brilliantly harmonises luxury and function, most evident in the Northern deck. The home’s evolution, from its storied past to its revitalised present, has been executed gracefully, capturing the essence of both eras in a seamless blend for a great outcome.


MCPHAIL HOUSE WINNER Residential Alterations & Additions $350,001 - $800K (EC)

Location: Essendon, VIC Designer: Aydan Doherty | AD Design Develop Website: Builder: Align Concepts Landscape Design: Kate Patterson Landscape Arch Energy Assessor: Caleb Young | Green Rate Photographer: Tatjana Plitt


Project Brief To design a single-storey addition to a Victorian weatherboard cottage on a narrow site. Retaining the original front façade and rooms, the new contemporary extension features a master bedroom with ensuite and walk-in robe, main bathroom, laundry, kitchen, dining, lounge, and two children’s bedrooms with integrated desks and robes. Clients sought a design with a ‘wow factor’, different from the norm. The layout aimed to maximise space and views, with special attention to incorporating external landscapes, enhancing the sense of space on the constrained site. The design challenge was to build predominantly to the south, due to the site’s proximity to the northern boundary, while creating a fun and contrasting, yet nondominating, façade to the existing structure.


Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

This renovation of an inner-city terrace, situated close to the north boundary, required creative design to introduce northern light. The solution was a north-facing atrium and extensive cantilevering of the roof to shield the west-facing rear from the summer sun. Large overhangs control light and heat gain, with minimal south-facing windows. The design features durable Australian materials, a solar hot water system, and a focus on eco-friendly elements like LED lighting, a solar PV system, cross-ventilation via operable windows, and hydronic heating in both the new insulated slab and throughout the home. The project maximised the existing footprint with minimal demolition, incorporating an outdoor entertaining area with a large floating overhang for added protection.

A clever and well-thought-out design, enriched by a great brief and excellent documentation. The interiors are of high quality, and the detailing is impeccable. Despite the small space, every area is intelligently laid out, maximising its potential. The design skill shines through, demonstrating that a single material, in this case, stone, can make a significant impact. The burnished concrete floor and tiles in the bathroom create a moody ambiance. Overall, a testament to smart design solutions that are functional, well-lit, and aligned with the brief.

The chosen materials reuse the original timber from the weatherboard cladding, encircling the new structure, and indoors, a combination of wood, polished concrete floors, and a monochrome foundation creates equilibrium, ready for the passage of time but not constrained by it.



THE UNION WINNER Residential Alterations & Additions over $800K (WC)

Location: Subiaco, WA Designer: Dalecki Design Website: Energy Assessor: James Cross | Northern Aspect Energy Consultants Photographer: Jody D’Arcy

‘The Union’ features bright living spaces focused on the dining room, highlighted by a lofty ceiling and wide scenic view, establishing it as the core area. Adjacent kitchen, lounge, and outdoor spaces offer a cozy atmosphere through subtle level differences and selective openings.


Project Brief With two children soon approaching their teenage years, the owners of ‘The Union’ came to Dalecki Design wanting to expand their character home in Subiaco, facilitating moments of shared family time as well as opportunities to retreat in solitude. Essential to the design was the creation of a functional flow, a relaxed and tranquil setting, strong indoor/ outdoor connection and a linkage between old and new.


Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

Sustainability was prioritised by retaining the existing house and designing around it. Passive solar principles were applied, ensuring optimal orientation and solar control. Low embodied energy timber construction and mixed methods were chosen based on location and efficiency. High-performance thermal glazing was installed throughout, complemented by a solar PV system, reinforcing the home’s eco-friendly design.

The design beautifully merges the old and the new, evident in the transitions and accentuated by the harmonious colour choices. This exceptional result boasts impeccable styling, excellent photography, and thoughtful material selections, including standout features like the alfresco covered area. Dalecki Design’s unique blend of retro-modern branding shines, particularly in the bright retro rebuild of the home. The integration of sustainability initiatives further highlights the project’s excellence. This design is the epitome of elegance and sophistication, marked by luxurious finishes and meticulous detailing both inside and out.

The heritage character of the original house and the bright but calm feeling of the new addition are brought together through subtle detailing, thoughtful material pairings and a sense of layered encounter.



CASTAWAY PROJECT WINNER Residential Alterations & Additions over $800K (EC)

Location: Jan Juc | VIC Designer: Luke Jennings | Project Now Website: Builder: Tru Form Construction Energy Assessor: Fiona Pictor | Pictor Design Photographer: Martina Gemmola

Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

This renovation aimed to preserve the original character of the house while updating it for a 21st-century family lifestyle. The clients wanted to maintain the charm of the original home, but with contemporary adaptations for their family with two young boys. The design emphasised connected kitchen and living areas, intimate yet distinct spaces, and breakaway areas. Essential for modern Australian homes, it features expansive entertaining areas, seamless indoor-outdoor integration, and a new pool. Original elements like open-plan layout and clerestory windows were retained and enhanced. Changes include relocating the kitchen for better light, converting a garage into a guest suite, adding a new wing for a parents’ retreat, and a separate cabana beside the pool.

In revitalising a house for contemporary living while preserving its essence, this architectural transformation utilised its original layout, including the elongated northern orientation and cross-ventilation enabled by a narrow floor plate. Original elements like floor-toceiling glazing and clerestory windows were kept, with openings unchanged but updated with high-performing, double-glazed black aluminium windows. The original garage was adaptively reused as a self-contained guest suite. The kitchen relocation increased northern exposure and solar gain. Exterior shading was enhanced with timber arbours and steelframed awnings. The project also included new rainwater harvesting systems and water-saving fixtures, connecting to all sanitary systems for efficiency.


The new extension is adorned with Eco Timber Group’s charred timber (sho sugi ban) cladding, offering a chic contrast to the existing brickwork, while its dark hue complements the landscape and accentuates the greenery.


Judges’ Comments This is a highly innovative design response that brilliantly preserves the original building’s essence while transforming it into a practical, well-zoned home. The integration of new pavilion additions is seamless, enhancing both the interior and exterior spaces. The result is a spectacular home, where every aspect is beautifully executed. The refined material choices and the exquisite brick feature around the fireplace add to its elegance. This makeover is a testament to crisp, modern, sophisticated design, offering a light and airy atmosphere. Stunning achievement!



THE FLATS WINNER Residential Heritage Design (WC)

Location: Guildford, WA Designer: Irene Coveney | Coveney Browne Design Website: Builder: Warden Construction Energy Assessor: GTB Building Consulting Services Photographer: Niall Browne | Coveney Browne Architects

Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

To renovate a historic home in Guildford, listed as “Significant” in the Municipal Inventory of Heritage Places. Built circa 1900, the house had served various roles, including a war hospital and a men’s boarding house. Emphasising the conservation of its rich history, the brief prioritised restoring original features like mouldings, fireplaces, and period details. A rear workers’ cottage, previously used for men’s accommodation, needed repurposing. The renovation aimed to introduce a new kitchen, dining area, bathrooms, and laundry. Features like a corner window for garden views and a claw foot bath in the ensuite were specified. Additionally, covered parking, without overshadowing the main house, was required.

Preserving the original building fabric, including the brick workers cottage, was prioritised for heritage and sustainability. Recycled materials were extensively used, and bricks from demolished structures were repurposed for outdoor paths. The house’s restoration ensures its prolonged heritage value, advocating for preserving over demolishing existing structures. The new addition’s design optimises northfacing windows for light and warmth, with a conservatory connection promoting ventilation. West-facing windows have protective timber awnings to reduce heat. The construction uses sustainable timber, insulation, and efficient glass. Despite its modest size, the design prioritises spaciousness, light, and airflow. Gardens support homegrown produce, a photovoltaic system reduces energy consumption, and water-efficient selections and plants enhance sustainability.


The main bathroom features a standout cast iron clawfoot slipper bath, snugly positioned between the marble fireplace and the wooden sash window. Wall paneling reduces the scale of the high-ceilinged room, while period-appropriate window dressings add colour and soften the room’s angularity.


Judges’ Comments This renovation seamlessly integrates the home’s historic charm with contemporary updates. The focus on retaining authenticity is evident, especially in the use of three-tone textured glass, providing a warm ambiance. Clever design choices, including strategic glazing, enhance spaces and create a blend of heritage and modern elegance. The commitment to preserving original elements while introducing new ones is commendable, offering a perfect blend of tradition and modernity.


Below: The interior blends vintage charm with industrial edge, softened with cozy textiles and a touch of whimsy, while the gleam of polished wooden floors adds warmth. The room’s natural light, streaming through sleek, black-framed windows, highlights the thoughtful curation of old-world meets modern living.


GASCOIGNE ELEGANCE WINNER Residential Heritage Design (EC)

Location: Malvern East | VIC Designer: Peter Jackson | Peter Jackson Design P/L Website: Builder: Bloom Projects Interior Design: Bloom Interior Design Landscape Design: Mark Browning Landscape Design Energy Assessor: Adrian Smithwick Photographer: Brett Holmberg

Project Brief To extend, reconfigure, and renovate a Post Edwardian home in Malvern East for a young family, focusing on functionality, light, and elegance. The design corrected the segmented, poorly integrated rear living areas of a previous extension, enhancing the connection between the home’s original and new parts. Priorities included maximising living space functionality with increased storage, modernising while respecting original architecture, and introducing more natural light. Outdoor improvements centred on a covered entertaining area, better integration with the garden and pool, and spaces for herb and vegetable growing. Bedroom and study designs aimed for comfort and adaptability, and the open-plan kitchen, dining, and living areas were expanded, including a large butler’s pantry for storage and meal preparation.




Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

The renovation focused on sustainability, aiming to minimise waste and maximise thermal efficiency. To reduce landfill waste, much of the original structure was retained, including the concrete floor slab. On-sold items, such as fireplaces and kitchen components, further reduced waste. Enhancements for sustainability included installing doubleglazing for new doors, windows, and skylights, strategic placement of doors for effective zoning, thermally efficient window treatments, and integrating a 30,000-litre water tank for water conservation and a separate 2,400-litre tank for toilets. The project also upgraded to energy-efficient heating/cooling systems and converted the pool to solar heating. The new extension’s orientation optimised natural light, and over 22m of raised garden beds in a French Potager style were added, enhancing biophilic connections and integrating the outdoors with the residence.

This is a remarkable and extremely welldocumented transformation! Well done on breathing new life into a gorgeous heritage home. The design seamlessly blends old and new, creating a vibrant, functional, and highly sophisticated family residence. The rear expansion, which opens the house to natural light and the outdoors, is particularly impressive. The detailed documentation is commendable, and the project is a testament to the skill and vision of the design team. Stunning!

The lofty gabled ceiling design extends from the interior living areas to the outdoor Alfresco, creating a perception of spaciousness and brightness, and serving as a visual connection to the external environment.


BOYANUP RESIDENCE WINNER Residential Rural Design (WC)

Location: Boyanup, WA Designer: Paul Lim | Mata Design Studio Pty Ltd Website: Builder: Resonate Homes Energy Assessor: Brett Cad | Certified Energy Assessment Photographer: Ross Wallace

Project Brief To design a 4 x 2 energy-efficient family home that complements the rural landscape without compromising on aesthetics. The clients wanted to prioritise solar energy, ATU systems, and hydronic floor heating rather than air conditioning and focus instead on strategic orientation, design, and ceiling fans. Located in a BAL 29 site, safety requirements are met without aesthetic compromise. The clients, design enthusiasts, welcomed innovative suggestions and emphasised a collective living space, distancing the master bedroom from noise. Capturing views and emphasising an indoor-outdoor connection was important as well as large northern windows and a central Cheminee Philippe fireplace, reflecting an “Australian Modern” theme with raw textures.

Sustainability Considerations The house is oriented to the north and features solar panels, an ATU wastewater system, and hydronic floor heating. Instead of air conditioning, it relies on insulation, strategically placed operable openings, double glazing, and a water tank. The burnished concrete floor was chosen for its high thermal mass and aesthetic appeal. This 245sqm property, inclusive of the garage, was initially designed for a family of four but accommodated five upon project completion. The house boasts a 7.3-star energy efficiency rating.





Judges’ Comments This home showcases excellent detailing, blending the charm of timber ceiling panels and unique angles with modern simplicity. While presenting a straightforward exterior, its interiors reveal stunning finishes. Commendably meeting the client’s brief, it achieves a 7.3 energy efficiency rating, testament to a design catering to those valuing environmental consciousness. The harmonious layout and material selection reflect a wellthought-out design strategy.


THE PARKY WINNER Residential Unbuilt Design

Location: Parkerville, WA Designer: Tim Veurink | Timeless Home Designs Website: 3D Renders ©Tim Veurink | Timeless Home Designs


Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

To design a unique home tailored for the client’s property. The home was uniquely designed for the client’s property. The clients wanted step-down living spaces that captured bush views and had a large alfresco area with a pool. Ensuring privacy from the road, the design needed to integrate elements like tumbled red brick and plywood ceilings as well as a dark kitchen palette and natural light. An old jacaranda tree was to become a focal point in the design. Other requested features were a separate kid’s wing, flexible rooms adaptable for meetings or a gym, and similarly sized bedrooms. Ensuites with privacy-focused showers, a home office, and an efficient layout were also to be incorporated.

The home’s design prioritised solar passive principles and tailored solutions for the property. Windows were optimised for winter sun exposure, with thermal mass materials ensuring natural temperature regulation. Deciduous trees were strategically planted around the house. In areas lacking eave overhangs, reverse brick veneer construction was used alongside weather tex timber cladding to manage heat transfer. Buffed concrete and internal brickwork provided essential thermal mass. Living area nib walls enhanced cross ventilation, while a bioethanol-fuelled fireplace added warmth. On-site rainwater collection addressed the lack of water supply, and treated water supported garden irrigation. Plans included solar installation, future battery provisions, chicken rearing, and a large vegetable garden.


Judges’ Comments The design beautifully captures the essence of a country home with its high windows channelling sunlight, creating a bright and airy living space. The main living area has a unique atrium feel that seamlessly blends with the surrounding landscape. The thoughtful use of brick mixed with timber, combined with a harmonious colour palette, establishes a relaxed family ambiance. The external pavilions are perfectly crafted for outdoor relaxation and entertainment. Furthermore, the expansive windows create captivating views, inviting the outdoors in. Overall, a timeless, inspiring design that truly stands out.


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PLEASANTVIEW MANOR WINNER Excellence in Documentation

Location: Wheelers Hill, VIC Designer: Ari Karsarian | Ari Alexander Design Group Website: Builder: Owner/Builder Energy Assessor: Robert Iacono Photographer: Hampar Erdogan

Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

To design a luxurious, multigenerational residence that will accommodate multiple generations of a family while ensuring privacy and opulence. It needed to seamlessly blends classic manor architecture with modern amenities, catering to diverse needs and lifestyles. The client wanted individual suites for family members while promoting togetherness through spacious common areas. The heart of the home is a state-of-the-art kitchen, perfect for family gatherings, which opens onto an expansive outdoor oasis with gardens and recreational spaces. Wellness facilities, smart home technology, and underground parking enhance convenience and connectivity. Pleasantview Manor redefines grand, inclusive family living with opulence and thoughtful design.

The open floor plan maximises natural light and uses high-quality materials, craftsmanship, and cutting-edge technology. Innovative insulation and ventilation maintain year-round comfort. Sustainability is central, with energy-efficient appliances, solar power, and water-saving features that reduce bills and environmental impact. The home prioritises accessibility, featuring single-level living, wide hallways, and an elevator for sustainable modern living that combines design, comfort, energy efficiency, climate resilience, and inclusivity.


Judges’ Comments The documentation for this project is undeniably impressive and sets a standard that all should aspire to. The level of detail is awe-inspiring and represents the pinnacle of drawing presentation. What an excellent example for students in the kind of precision and thoroughness to aim for. The layout is exceptionally well-structured, making it easy to interpret, and even includes interior elevations with vivid graphics that bring the space to life. Overall, the documentation demonstrates a commitment to excellence and professionalism in architectural design.


THE HUTT HOUSE WINNER Excellence in Documentation Location: Mt Lawley, WA Designer: Darren Foster | Paramount Design Website: Builder: Nulook Homes Energy Assessor: Structerre Photographer: Michael Conroy | Silvertone Photography

Project Brief To blend classic charm with modern innovation. Focus on integrating functional spaces, enhancing sustainability, and maximising natural light while honouring the property’s historical value. The design should bridge the old with the new, using exterior materials that complement the existing architecture. It seeks to improve living spaces and connectivity between indoor and outdoor areas, focus on energy efficiency using eco-friendly materials, and ensure compliance with building codes. The strategic use of natural light and ventilation is integral to the design.

Sustainability Considerations The renovation prioritized sustainability, overcoming a narrow lot to introduce ample northern light using double-height glazing and skylights. A vertical structure optimized space, expanding living areas and modern amenities while enhancing indoor-outdoor connectivity. Energy-efficient features, modern amenities, and storage solutions were integrated, improving functionality and reducing utility costs. Accessibility and future flexibility were also central in the design, ensuring the home adapts to the residents’ evolving needs, all while respecting eco-friendly and sustainable practices.


Above: A serene staircase corridor bathed in natural light, accented by warm wooden tones and lush greenery, inviting a sense of calm and modernity.

Judges’ Comments A perfectly met brief, exemplified by excellent documentation and a captivating blend of contemporary and timeless aesthetics. The seamless integration of old and new elements, enhanced by a harmonious colour palette and innovative use of space is impressive. Despite some subjective preferences on material choices, the polished concrete floors, and the mix of timber colours with black accents were notable highlights. The clarity in presentation and detailed execution resonated well, underscoring the project’s exemplary standard in both design and construction.




Location: Mount Eliza | VIC Architecture and Interior Design: Sky Tiong | Sky Architect Studio Pty Ltd Website: Builder: Richard Ferri | Buena Vista Homes Energy Assessor: Passivenergy Photographer: Tatjana Plitt

Project Brief The clients sought to subdivide their large Mornington Peninsula property, selling the existing house to fund a modern, sustainable home at the back. The new design required navigating local council covenants for subdivision. They desired a compact, lowmaintenance home that would accommodate their family, foster togetherness, and respect natural cycles, while providing privacy and adaptability for the future. Emphasis was placed on a joyous living experience, long-term viability, and environmental efficiency.



Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

This family-focused, compact design optimises space without material waste. Oriented for solar gain, its U-shape enhances privacy and allows sea breeze ventilation. Extensive double-glazed e-glass maintains thermal comfort and reduces the need for artificial light. A 13.32KW solar power system with 36 panels and a heat pump solar hot water heater ensures efficient energy and hot water supply. Indoor fan coil units and ducted heating/cooling improve air quality. Two large Kingspan water tanks and a greywater system support irrigation and household reuse, conserving water. Smart lighting and FSC-certified timber for flooring and cabinetry highlight the sustainability commitment.

The judges were impressed with the clever design, comprehensive documentation, and overall great presentation, including the integration of the natural environment and the creation of functional and easy living spaces. They admire the muted interior palette that allows the outside to come in, the functional and well-connected kitchen, and the use of light, with celestial windows and skylights creating a play of shadows and light. The home’s suitability for a growing family, the balanced proportions, and the U-shape design are also highly commended.






Location: Melbourne, VIC Designer: Felicity & Marc Bernstein | Melbourne Design Studios (MDS) Website: Builder: Function Fitouts Energy Assessor: ESD Consultant & GHG assessment: Melbourne Design Studios (MDS) Photographer: Nicole England

Project Brief To craft a sustainable, future-focused office space, addressing challenges such as postCOVID workplace changes, mental well-being, and climate change. The design fosters wellbeing, creativity, and collaboration, incorporating recycled materials, biophilic elements, and energy-efficient solutions. Created for Grenke, an international finance company, the office initially accommodates a team of seven with provisions to triple in size. The brief, codeveloped with Grenke, includes around 14 workstations, flexible growth space, quality indoor air, and a connection to nature. The office layout encourages informal and formal meeting spaces, aiming to be inspiring and welcoming. Grenke’s commitment to carbon neutrality influences the low-impact, energy-conscious fitout design.


Sustainability Considerations The project’s preliminary in-house and EPiC database greenhouse gas (GHG) assessments reveal a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, approximately 80kg/m², less than half the typical office fit-out average. This achievement, not yet including biogenic carbon’s positive impact from carbon-stored timber, will be further offset by the client to reach Carbon Zero, potentially resulting in a carbon-negative project. Sustainability features include highpriority use of recycled materials, biophilic design with moss walls and planter boxes enhancing indoor air quality, energy-efficient appliances, reuse of existing furniture, and low VOC materials. A custom-designed table tennis table and modular planter boxes highlight resourceful and creative use, contributing to an adaptable, long-lasting design with a minimal carbon footprint.


Judges’ Comments This design is a shining example of thoughtfully integrating timber into the workspace. The choice of furniture complements the overall aesthetic perfectly. The standout feature is the recycled timber, not merely for show but as a sustainable, eco-conscious choice. This project deserves applause for addressing climate change, combating loneliness, and emphasising recycled and repurposed materials. It’s a testament to forward-thinking design that places the planet and people at its core. A truly excellent transformation and an inspiring workspace.

Employee wellbeing was front-ofmind in the design process. The entrance was designed to create a ‘moody’ atmosphere that contrasts with the bright, open office space and can also serve as a private area when needed.



HART & CO WINNER Commerical Alterations and Additions (WC)

Location: Osborne Park, WA Designer: Shane Le Roy, Shane Le Roy Design Website: Photographer: Joel Barbitta | D-Max Photography

Project Brief To design a sophisticated, functional appliance showroom that encapsulated modern aesthetics and interactive elements. The space featured zoned layouts for various categories like kitchen pods, a live laundry area, and a central working demonstration kitchen for real-time appliance engagement. Each area was intended to be both visually appealing and educative, promoting an immersive experience for designers and clients. The design prioritised ease of navigation, brand distinction, and interactive engagement, ensuring a comprehensive, tangible, and informative exploration of the appliance offerings.

Judges’ Comments The layout was well-planned, fitting the client’s brief and transforming the space modernly. Exceptional design detailing paired with a carefully curated colour palette and premium material choices created an unforgettable consumer experience. The transformation of the building’s facade made a bold, modern statement, complemented internally by different floor and wall divider materials that effectively zoned the space. The use of recycled brick and the overall colour and design concept were highly appreciated, rendering the space fabulous and aesthetically pleasing.



The interior was laid out to let customers compare products in different zones, enhancing their shopping experience. Display pods were set up like kitchen spaces to inspire home design and showcase the brand’s variety.



FLYING HORSE WINNER Commercial Alterations and Additions (EC)

Location: Ballarat, VIC Designer: Ryan Boyes | Zarif Design Group Website: Builder: S.J Weir Energy Assessor: O’Beirne Design Photographer: H Studios

Project Brief The project brief for Zarif originated from a comprehensive site inspection, followed by a meeting with board members. The main concerns revolved around the functional disarray of a building that had undergone numerous extensions over time. Issues included poor connectivity between gaming and dining areas, the T.A.B betting section, and the smoking area. Additionally, a lack of familyfriendly space posed challenges to the existing business model. The brief aimed to reorganise the facility, enhance access, improve ventilation, elevate the business image, ensure versatility for hosting multiple events simultaneously, create a family-oriented venue, and address compliance and fire safety requirements while minimising disruption to the gaming area. Sustainability Considerations Sustainability played a vital role in this project, despite challenges posed by the existing building and surroundings. The limited location and orientation were addressed by upgrading the outdated mechanical systems with energyefficient split systems. To enhance natural ventilation and lighting, large, glazed tilt doors and north-facing windows were strategically integrated, reducing the need for artificial lighting and heating. Additionally, efforts were made to reduce heating and cooling costs, expand green spaces, and introduce more garden areas internally and externally. These considerations aimed to create an eco-friendlier and energy-efficient environment while working within the constraints of the existing site.


Judges’ Comments The makeover has truly transformed the space, making it far more inviting and appealing. The photos effectively showcase the before-and-after shots, providing excellent documentation and a clear brief. The choice of stone is commendable, representing quality in the extension. The transformation is remarkable, with the space now being bright, colorful, modern, and inviting. This project has been executed exceptionally well, effectively meeting the client’s brief and successfully navigating the challenges involved. The design not only satisfies the commercial aspect but also stands as a testament to a job well done.



Location: Neerabup, WA Designer: Diego Quevedo | DQ Designs Website: Builder: John Italiano Energy Assessor: Glenn Underwood Photographer: DMAX Photography


Project Brief To develop a Commercial Business Park that not only meets the needs of medium to large industrial and commercial enterprises but also supports small businesses and startups. The park is envisioned as a collaborative environment and aims to achieve a 5-Star Green Rating, symbolising pinnacle environmental and sustainable performance. Key objectives include the incorporation of sustainable design principles, achieving a high level of environmental performance, and fostering a productive and wellbeing-centred atmosphere through the integration of biophilic design and natural materials.

Sustainability Considerations The early engagement of green star and energy efficiency consultants facilitated a design focused on sustainability. Units are oriented north to optimise solar energy capture and minimise heating and cooling needs. Local, durable, and low-embodied energy materials were chosen to withstand Australia’s climate and reduce waste via a modular design approach. Water conservation is enhanced by rainwater capture systems. The development is powered by on-site renewable energy, further reducing heating and cooling demands. Additionally, the project supports the local community by offering micro units for small businesses and storage for residents.



Judges’ Comments

Top left: Modern meets functionality in this sleek stairway design, featuring warm wood tones and built-in cabinetry for a minimalist, space-efficient interior.

This design is commendable, skilfully navigating numerous challenges to present a coherent, aesthetically pleasing commercial space. The detailed interior and exterior elements reveal a sophisticated understanding of form and layout. The colour palette and incorporation of biophilic principles, especially visible in the elegant timber staircase, foster a vibrant and inviting atmosphere.


KEY IN ON KEON WINNER New Commercial over $2M (EC)

Location: Thomastown, VIC Designer: Peter Lombardozzi | Archsign Pty Ltd Website: Builder: LSR Construction Group Energy Assessor: Frater Consulting Services Photographer: Rite Visuals

Vibrant colors and textures were incorporated into the park’s design, breaking the monotony of concrete with features like shrouds and louvers, harmonising with the industrial surroundings while adding unique visual interest.


Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

To establish a visually stimulating and vibrant high tech business park that redefines the traditional industrial design paradigm. This project reimagines conventional design, blending visually striking, functional architecture to nurture an inclusive, dynamic community. Aimed at fostering innovation and growth, it emphasises modern aesthetics and practicality to attract diverse businesses. The development focuses on creating an interactive, welcoming environment, supporting sustainable growth and creative progress. Essential features include comprehensive infrastructure, accessibility for all, and sufficient parking, ensuring convenience and inclusivity for businesses and visitors alike.

This sustainable project utilises eco-friendly construction materials and methods to minimise its carbon footprint and promote environmental conservation. The building’s façade integrates louvers, optimising natural light and ventilation while reducing direct sunlight exposure. It champions sustainable transport with pedestrian, cycling paths, and accessible amenities. Energy efficiency is key, incorporating technologies and designs to lower energy consumption and operational costs. Renewable energy sources, especially solar panels, are used for powering communal areas, lessening dependence on nonrenewables. Features like light-coloured metal roofing counter the urban heat island effect, and high insulation materials plus solar panels for showrooms improve the project’s energy efficiency.



Judges’ Comments The design showcases a clean and appealing aesthetic with a commendable colour scheme and detailed documentation. The mathematical layout and response to the corner site demonstrate a deep understanding of form and the enclosed mezzanines add a distinctive touch, addressing common concerns in business parks.



Location: Warrnambool, VIC Designer: Donna Monaghan | Form and Function Building Design Website: Builder: Monaghan Constructions Energy Assessor: GOrate Building Energy Solutions Photographer: Matt Seebeck

Project Brief The brief outlined a two-storey commercial building on a 200m² land parcel, utilising council laneways for frontage, enhancing exposure and promoting laneway cleanup. Without traditional CBD street frontage, the design could be playfully architectural, blending brick warehouse style with modern elements. Brick and steel were primary materials, exposing structure and services in the interior. priorities included solar gain, natural ventilation, and solar power usage during business hours. The building, mixing commercial and public use, features a public café alongside offices, blending professional and community spaces. It includes common areas and a rentable meeting room. The interior design, crucial to the project, introduces colour through joinery and emphasises lighting, especially on the ground floor. The design team’s trademark element of fun was evident throughout.


Sustainability Considerations This eco-friendly home embodies sustainability through various key practices. It utilises geopolymer concrete, locally sourced materials, and recycled timber cladding, minimising carbon emissions and embodied energy. The design focuses on material reduction, optimising wall layers and reducing waste. Passive solar design, high-performance glazing, insulation, and thermal mass eliminate the need for heating and cooling. Energy efficiency is further enhanced with solar panels and energy-efficient appliances, while an earth tube air pre-cooling system improves comfort. Self-sufficient water conservation measures include greywater treatment and rainwater harvesting.


Above: The inclusion of the cafe in the commercial building draws the community to the area and enhances the building’s exposure. It is a fun inclusion of space for the tenant and the interiors are intended to reflect that.

Judges’ Comments This small site has been brilliantly utilised and blends effortlessly into the heritage precinct. The building itself is beautifully scaled and masterfully designed. Its magic lies in the thoughtful use of materials, shape, and proportion. It respects the heritage context while injecting modernity and life into the site. The external facade showcases texture and colour, paying homage to the past. Inside, the warehouse-style design with abundant natural light, materials, and colour palette creates a vibrant, connected space.






THE ARCHES WINNER Best Digital Presentation by a Student (EC)

Location: Bendigo, VIC Designer: Branden Pearce Website:

Project Brief To design a multi-storey, multi-use development in Bendigo CBD. The brief includes a ground floor with an Indigenous cultural heritage gallery, a café/restaurant, a link to a food court and Victoria Lane, a foyer for upper-level offices, strong Pall Mall Street presence, bike storage, and service spaces. The first floor comprises themed offices for a creative coworking environment. The second floor features executive accommodation units, including a platinum-level Liveable Housing Australia apartment. Considerations involve linking to a future food court, environmental sustainability, laneway revitalisation, and promoting sustainable transport over parking, in line with the City of Greater Bendigo’s strategic plan.

Sustainability Considerations Sustainability measures include a 50,000-litre underground rainwater tank for efficient water use, low-carbon concrete slabs and insulation to reduce embodied energy, carbonneutral bricks for arches, an aluminium batten shade screen for sun protection and facade maintenance, recycled carpet tiles, sustainably sourced timber, ceiling and wall insulation, highperformance double glazing, polished concrete slabs for thermal mass, exposed recycled brick walls for material efficiency, a solar panel system with battery storage provision, low VOC finishes for indoor air quality, optimal sun orientation, and stacker doors for natural ventilation, enhancing both energy efficiency and comfort.

The curved, arched battens on the façade create a standout feature that mirrors the natural contours of the Australian landscape, like rock formations and waterways, using ‘Knotwood’ for a timber-like finish that echoes Rosalind Park’s flora.


Judges’ Comments This design is simply fantastic. The presentation is well-executed, providing a clear understanding of the concept. The visuals and movie presentation are excellent, giving a vivid sense of the project. It’s evident that this design fits seamlessly into its surroundings and demonstrates a keen understanding of the area. The brief is concise and welldetailed, reflecting great work. The space feels light and bright, with arches that harmonise beautifully with the neighbouring structures, all while showcasing modernity. Sustainability initiatives are commendable, displaying thoughtful planning. Overall, this is an excellent solution for the proposed site, with outstanding visuals, comprehensive documentation, and a cool contemporary design that incorporates clear plans and renders.


PERFORMING ARTS HUB WINNER Best Group Project by Students (EC)

Location: Carlton, VIC Designer: Mitchell Gleeson Website:

Project Brief

Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

The project is located in Carlton, Victoria, within a precinct owned by the client, RMIT. The design brief called for a four-storey educational institution with retail space, adhering to strict City of Melbourne council requirements. The space was intended for performing arts and production, emphasizing connectivity and green areas for students and alumni to gather. Sustainability was a top priority, targeting a 6-star building rating, achieved partly through Mass Timber Construction. Collaborative efforts with RMIT ensured the design met their specific requirements and reflected their vision for creative educational spaces.

The project prioritises sustainability through several key features. Its north-facing orientation, along with outdoor balconies, ensures ample natural light throughout the year, while a kinetic facade provides effective shading and harnesses wind motion for additional energy generation. A solar roof contributes to power generation, taking advantage of the sun’s availability. The green rooftop features droughtresistant native Australian plants, reducing water consumption and heat impact. Mass timber construction, renewable and eco-friendly, is used for core and structural components. Additionally, a rainwater reticulation system conserves water and reduces long-term costs, enhancing the building’s overall sustainability.

This design is truly beautiful and highly impressive. The images provided are fantastic, offering a clear understanding of the site’s context and surroundings. The effort put into this project is of high quality, evidenced by the excellent renders and images. It’s commendable to see how the initial lack of direction was successfully overcome, resulting in a design that truly moves and captures different lighting ambiances throughout the day and night. The documentation and graphic images are of a high standard, reflecting a great level of professionalism.

Right: A view captured from Lygon Street is directed towards the front of the building, focusing on the education precinct.



NEXUS KEW WINNER Best Response to a Design Brief by a Student (EC)

Location: Kew, VIC Designer: Simon Killeen Website:

Project Brief This mixed-use development project at 1153-1157 Burke Rd, Kew 3101 combines luxury apartments, ground-floor retail spaces, and first-floor commercial offices. The client’s vision entails a distinctive facade blending commercial and residential elements, meeting local planning requirements for footpath canopies. The basement level serves the entire building with amenities, including disabled parking, storage, bicycle facilities, and staff areas. Specific design considerations encompass floor area allocations, fire safety measures, lightweight wall systems, and possible rooftop features like light wells and a garden. The project aims for seamless integration of diverse spaces while adhering to design and accessibility standards.


Urban Oasis: The Nexus building melds sleek modern design with natural elements, featuring wooden slatted balconies, cascading greenery, and a welcoming open-air entrance that draws in the bustle of city life.


Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

The development prioritises sustainability with a strong focus on biophilic design. This is evident in features like green walls that filter air, offset carbon, and reduce HVAC energy usage, as well as strategies to reduce the heat island effect. Passive design principles, including carefully positioned windows and openings, contribute to efficient heating and cooling. The use of electrochromic glass lowers the HVAC system’s workload. Sustainable materials such as timber, Hebel panelling, metal cladding, and recycled brick products are integrated. The project also incorporates renewable energy sources like large solar systems and water storage and recycling systems, along with chiller boiler HVAC systems.

An excellent and commendable response to the design brief. Love the high-quality image and we believe the participant has a promising future in the field. The design effectively integrates internal spaces with external environments, showcasing skilful solar penetration and thoughtful space layout to enhance ambience and energy efficiency. Great job!


For the retail and commercial spaces, the design philosophy was centered on boldness, innovation, and attracting customers through excellent functional design by optimising the use of space, colour, form, and function to enhance the buildings’ utility.


MOUNT BURKE WINNER Excellence in Documentation by a Student (EC) Location: Kew, VIC Designer: Keron Lee


Project Brief The minimum requirements for the proposed complex included a basement level with parking spaces, disabled parking, storage, bicycle stands, water storage, and safety features. The ground floor needed to feature a main entry, retail spaces, upmarket residences, circulation areas, and amenities. Upper floors were to accommodate professional offices with lightweight wall systems, lift access, and mezzanine options. The roof could include a rooftop garden, light wells, roofing for presentation, and safety access systems as well as specific size and safety criteria which were detailed throughout the brief to meet developer expectations for this project.

Sustainability Considerations

Judges’ Comments

Mount Burke was designed with a strong focus on sustainability and minimal environmental impact. The building prioritises longevity by careful design. Recycled materials like steel, bricks, timber, and concrete are used extensively. Construction waste is minimised through prefabrication. The project seeks to balance urban development with environmental stewardship, with only 61% of the site utilised. Greening strategies include vertical gardens, native plantings, and water management systems. Solar panels power various aspects of the building, and balconies offer shade and sunlight control. The design also incorporates soundproofing and thermal benefits with double and laminated glazing.

Impressively detailed documentation, complemented by exceptional renders, encapsulates the essence of this beautiful building. The documentation effectively captures the retro response to the design brief, suitable for areas like Kew. All required elements are included, resulting in a successful outcome, and the building’s integration with a green roof enhances its appeal within the streetscape. Very well done.



7 Elsegood Avenue Yallingup Designer: Dane Design Australia Photographer: Ange Wall

Bar Vino Mt Lawley Designer: Dane Design Australia Photographer: Ange Wall

Boyanup Residence Designer: Dane Design Australia Photographer: Ange Wall

Coode Street Designer: Dane Design Australia Photographer: Ange Wall

CTI Logistics Hazelmere Freight Facility Designer: Modus Design Pty Ltd Photographer: Kelly Barker

DiPlacido Residence Designer: Shayne Le Roy Design Photographer: Joel Barbitta

Eagle Bay Beach House Designer: Dane Design Australia Photographer: Ange Wall

Eco Barn House Designer: Coveney Browne Design Photographer: Niall Browne Coveney Browne Architects

Era Destino Designer: Ecohabit Photographer: Peter Ellery

Fairymead Designer: Dwelling Design Photographer: Rosie Henderson

Global Rd Business Park Designer: DQ Designs Photographer: D-Max Photography

Hart & Co Designer: Shayne Le Roy Design Photographer: Joel Barbitta | D-Max Photography

Hirniak Residence Designer: Shayne Le Roy Design Photographer: Joel Barbitta | D-Max Photography

James Residence Designer: Shayne Le Roy Design Photographer: Peter Ellery

Karli Rise Designer: designButton Photographer: Ange Wall

Little Apple Designer: Timeless Home Designs Photographer: Dion Robeson


Ocean Blue Loop Designer: Lurie Concepts Photographer: Dion Robeson

Project Calais Designer: Sarandis Design & Build Photographer: Crib Creative

Project Elstree Designer: Sarandis Design & Build Photographer: Owner

Project Gladstone Designer: Sarandis Design & Build Photographer: Crib Creative

Rosebery House Designer: Designhaus Perth Photographer: Marc Ash Photography

Sasse Ave Designer: Collective Design Agency Photographer: Finesse Property Photography

The Boatshed Designer: Dalecki Design Photographer: Dion Robeson

The Bromley Designer: Dalecki Design Photographer: Dion Robeson

The Flats Designer: Coveney Browne Design Photographer: Niall Browne Coveney Browne Architects

The Hutt House Designer: Paramount Design Photographer: Michael Conroy Silvertone Photography

The Parky Designer: Timeless Home Designs Photographer: 3D Renders ©Tim Veurink | Timeless Home Designs

The Union Designer: Dalecki Design Photographer: Jody D’Arcy

Tree House Designer: Stack Design Photographer: Denise Rix

Victoria Avenue Designer: Daniel Lomma Design Photographer: Silvertone Photography



Albert Park Designer: Nisk Design Photographer: Philip Boon

Binowee HempHaus Designer: Gruen Eco Design Photographer: Gruen Eco Design

Blacktown Road Designer:Sydney Drafting Concepts & Design Photographer: Jessie Ann

Booth St Project Designer: Silo Building Designs Photographer: High Meadow Studios

Brisbane Butterfly Designer: Drake Design Photographer: Daniela Fulford

Bundaleer Designer: Holman Designs Pty Ltd Photographer: Nic Stephens

Butterfly Beach House Renovation Designer: Innerchi Studios Photographer: Dustin Leaney, Innerchi Studios

Canal Haus Designer: Maxa Design Photographer: Marnie Hawson

Castaway Project Designer: Project Now Photographer: Martina Gemmola

Castlemaine Hybrid Home Designer: Outlier Photographer: Marnie Hawson

Central Residence Designer: Dylan Barber Building Design Photographer: Nikole Ramsay

Dispensary Lane Project Designer: Form and Function Building Design Photographer: Matt Seebeck

Doncaster Residences Designer: Archified Photographer: Emily Bartlett

EcoHut Project Designer: Ecoliv Photographer: Kim Keltie

Feng Shui House Designer: Feng Shui Concepts Photographer: Ess Creative

Ferrars & York Designer: Hip V. Hype Photographer: Tess Kelly


Flying Horse Designer: Zarif Photographer: H Studios

Future Office - Fitout for Grenke Australia Designer: Melbourne Design Studios (MDS) Photographer: Nicole England

Gala Project 01 Designer: Project Now Photographer: Christopher Puro

Gascoigne Elegance Designer: Peter Jackson Design Photographer: Brett Holmberg

Grid House Designer: Ari Alexander Design Group Photographer: Timothy Kaye

Hawthorn Glass House Designer: Mat Elkan Design Photographer: Kate Hansen

Herbert Designer: D3 Building Design Photographer: Threefold Socials

Hope House Designer: Design by Ad Photographer: Tatjana Plitt

Horizon Beach House Designer: Crosier Scott Architects Photographer: Anna Nixon

House on the Hill Designer: Ink Block Photographer: Shayne Hill

Huff’n’Puff Haus Designer: Envirotecture Photographer: Marnie Hawson

Key in on Keon Designer: Archsign Pty Ltd Photographer: Rite Visuals

KJ Residence Designer: A1 Design Studio Photographer: Simon Whitbread

Manse Hill Designer: 5cSBD Photographer: Franco Lam

McPhail House Designer: Design by Ad Photographer: Tatjana Plitt

Modern Two Storey Designer: Benschmark Design & Drafting Photographer: McQuilton Productions



Mount Burke Designer: Clearly Planned

Mount Eliza Beach House Designer: Sky Architect Studio Pty Ltd Photographer: Tatjana Plitt

New Street Designer: Ben & Ben Photographer: Dylan James

Nexus Kew Designer: Swinburne University

Optimism Street Designer: Sydney Drafting Concepts & Design Photographer: Casalina Homes

Otago Edge Designer: Clever Design Photographer: Peter Mathew

Performing Arts Hub Designer: RMIT

Pleasantview Manor Designer: Ari Alexander Design Group Photographer: Hampar Erdogan

Racing Retreat Designer: Designers by Nature Photographer: Rob Gunstone

Rivers Run Designer: Designers by Nature Photographer: Chris McConville

Rosedale Circuit Designer: Sydney Drafting Concepts & Design Photographer: Stefanie Calos

Rutherford Circuit Designer: Sydney Drafting Concepts & Design Photographer: Owner


Seadragon Designer: Adapt Design Group Photographer: Chelsea Watson

Spinifex Designer: Adapt Design Group Photographer: Chelsea Watson

Sturt Project Designer: Project Now Photographer: Christopher Puro c/o Bueno Design

Tarana Alterations Designer: John Weston Architectural Design Pty Ltd Photographer: Ryan Stiles

Taungurung Passivhaus Designer: Maxa Design Photographer: Marnie Hawson

The Arches Designer: Bendigo TAFE

Treehouse Designer: Holman Designs Pty Ltd Photographer: Nic Stephens

Tyler Street Project Designer: Silo Building Designs Photographer: Tammy Nancarrow - Homecoming Collective

Victoria House Designer: Ad Design Develop Photographer: Tatjana Plitt

Wattletree House Designer: Ad Design Develop Photographer: Tatjana Plitt

Well Tempered House Designer: Green Sheep Collective Photographer: Erhan Tirli

Yea Project Designer: Ecoliv Photographer: Luke McNee


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