Awards season is truly underway! That also means it’s officially drooling season for we are about to witness another batch of spectacular houses that made it to the awards shortlist this year. Now in its ninth year of celebrating Australia’s best residential projects, the Houses Awards has become one of the country’s most sought-after recognition programs, with 502 entries submitted in 2019, five percent more than the previous year. Presented by Houses magazine, this annual program rewards excellence in nine categories, with the best house receiving the premier award of Australian House of the Year.
Each year, the Houses Awards entries provide a unique insight into contemporary residential design and the contribution Australia’s architects and designers make to enhancing the way we live today. Recently, the shortlist for this year’s awards was revealed and we can’t wait to show you these really awesome homes that made it to the finals. Choosing the best among the best for each category will be both challenging and exciting. So why not we take a sneak peek and see which house deserves to bring home the bacon this year. Let’s have a quick rundown..
New House under 200 square metres
Small spaces might seem like humble dwellings at first, but a closer inspection can reveal there is breathtaking beauty in such a cozy form. The The Garden Bunkie By Reddog and Princess Street House by Owen Architecture are perfect examples of beautifully designed compact spaces that have the function and comfort of a bigger home. Not to mention they both have killer aesthetic features, too!
New House over 200 square metres
It’s not just about having an extensive space to work on, but also about having the perfect mix and balance between landscape, geometry and structure in the overall houses design. The Crescent House by Matthew Woodward Architecture and House at Prickly Rocks by O’Connor and Houle Architecture & Landscapes flawlessly integrate with their surroundings despite having a fairly substantial area.
House Alteration and Addition under 200 square metres
The awards program not only recognises new builds. House alterations and additions are also given equal importance and acknowledgement, and with good reason. It takes a keen eye and a penchant for style to take an existing home and lend it a fresh new touch that allows its dwellers a more profound sense of living. The Plaster Fun House by Sans-Arc Studio, Cascade House by Atelier Red+Black, and Little Lane Studio by Pleysier Perkin especially caught our attention. Have a look why..
House Alteration and Addition over 200 square metres
Building a grandiose structure from the ground up is already a feat. Imagine the work and dedication required to renovate an already existing one, let alone a fairly old one while giving it a whole new character and life. The alterations and additions made to Apollo Bay House by Dock4 Architects and House Burch by Those Architects are simply amazing. The renovations carried out to these homes were carefully executed and has resulted to the structure having a second life without losing their former glory.
Apartment or Unit
The ultra-compact nature of these humble abodes have greatly gathered interest the past couple of years. The marriage of functionality and flair is weighed in this category, including how well the entire space is used for the dweller’s daily living. We’re especially amazed by the clever design of Dragon Kite Residence by Downie North and UKO Stanmore by Mostaghim & Associates.
Dragon Kite Residence by Downie North
Garden or Landscape
When talking about homes, this doesn’t only refer to the spaces confined within the structure of the house. Other outdoor living spaces like garden and landscape design adds extra dimension to daily dwelling. In this category, the functionality, aesthetic elements, and overall layout are carefully considered and evaluated. Have a peek at the Daylesford Longhouse by Partners Hill and Superba Entrance Courtyard by Stark Design and see what we’re talking about..
Choice of materials, environmental sustainability, best practice, consideration the impact of design decisions, these are just some of the criteria of this category. It recognises achievement in the design of individual dwellings and attached outdoor space that display innovation and excellence. Our best bets for this category include Elemental House by Ben Callery Architects and Scarborough and Welkin by Justin Mallia Architecture.
House in a Heritage Context
Houses with rich history, ancestral homes, and heritage structures. This category honours homes that highlight the historical importance of the structure and the land on which it was built, with homage to elements that transport to a time long gone. Finalists are recognised for how well they value and preserve the architectural past, including how well they pay homage to it amidst the modern aesthetic of contemporary times. Check out Albert Villa by Bureau^proberts, Woollahra House by Nobbs Radford Architects, and House with a Tree Room by MAKE Architecture..
Emerging Architecture Practice
Personality is a key factor in choosing the winner among the finalists in this category, matched with how well the home is able to project that personality in any one – or all, of its design elements. We’re paying close attention to Breakspear Architects and Downie North and their awesome projects..
This year’s jury for the awards include: Lindy Atkin (Co-director, Bark Architects); John Choi (Partner, Chrofi); Luigi Rosselli (Director, Luigi Rosselli Architects); Rachel Nolan (Principal, Kennedy Nolan); and Katelin Butler (Editorial Director, Architecture Media).
The winner of the Australian House of the Year receives a $5,000 cash prize, while individual categories offer a cash prize of $1,000. The winning projects are subsequently published in the August 2019 edition of Houses and made available to view online on Saturday 27 July via the Houses Awards website. Stay tuned and watch this space for our announcement of this year’s winners! Meanwhile, have a read at last year’s finalists announcement and awards winners here.
For the complete lists of finalists for all categories, you can view the shortlist on their official website. The Awards presentation gala night will be held on Friday 26 July 2019 at one of Melbourne’s most iconic venues, Melbourne’s Plaza Ballroom. For those who don’t have tickets yet, you can grab one over at the Houses Awards website. May the best house win!