2019 NSW Country Division Architecture Awards

Cloud Cottage by Takt Studio.
Image: Ingvar Kenne

2019 media release DOWNLOAD THE CATALOGUE

Taking its inspiration from the ecology of the local area, Cloud Cottage in Bowral, has taken out the top prize at this year’s prestigious Australian Institute of Architects’ NSW Country Division Awards, the James Barnet Award. Designed by Thirroul based Takt Studio, the cottage will evolve to nestle into an established garden, providing habitat for birds and enhancing the streetscape. The cottage design employed many environmental principles such as geothermal heating and cooling, plus solar and rainwater storage.

The jury of experts, led by architecture@altitude’s Virginia Wong-See, also recognised the project with the award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New), noting that: ‘The highly crafted project offers a legacy for future generations. With exceptional craftsmanship the building is designed to age graciously, timeless in its aesthetic.’

Cloud Cottage also won the Termimesh Timber Award with its sophisticated exploration of the use of a single species of hardwood timber. The home highlights the versatility of timber, using it in different ways to create a series of warm, elegant spaces.

Across this year’s awards program, Takt Studio took out no less than four awards and one commendation. The honours included a second award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New) for Blade House on the Illawarra Coast. The jury said: ‘The house pays homage to the history of Australian coastal towns. Elevated from the ground plane to harness the costal views, the design is orientated in a way that pays attention to the ever-changing site conditions.’

Source Architects’ March House in Orange was crowned winner of the Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) category, as well as winner of the Interior Architecture award. The jury noted the great deal of respect the project shows for the original 1910 Federation building, and the cohesive approach to interior detailing that blends old and new.

The award for Public Architecture went to Ian Sercombe Architect for the Tuncurry Resource Recovery Centre in the Forster locale. Wong-See said: ‘The centre addressed the ideas of sustainability and recycling both during construction and through education, helping the Mid-Coast Council in work towards a zero-waste target.’ With its fabric of upcycled materials and recycled timber screening, the community recycling centre and Men’s Shed provide community services such as an upcycle retail outlet, bike recycling program and sustainability program that play a vital role in public awareness and education.

The Kingscliff Community Hall and Amenities project by Aspect Architecture won the Heritage Architecture award. The jury noted ‘This building was destined for demolition like many of its coastal cousins, but through a process of reduction and perforation the true beauty of this 1960s community hall and amenities building in Kingscliff has been revealed. The hall and its amenities and visitors centre have been elevated to the position of community landmark, as harmonious to each other as they are to their surrounding town.’

In addition to the eight jury awards and eight commendations, Echo Beach House by Create Architecture won the People’s Choice award by popular vote. Nestled behind the dunes of Casuarina Beach, the house speaks to an appreciation for entertaining, uncomplicated coastal living and surf culture. The entry sequence is invigorated through a memorable threshold over water and relates inherently to the principal indoor and outdoor living areas. The design also responds to the inspiration found by the clients in the architecture of Richard Neutra, about whose projects Time Magazine observed ‘their beauty, like that of any sea shell, is more than skin-deep – practical, not pretentious.

In celebration of the talent of country and regional architects, winners and commendations were announced at the Australian Institute of Architects NSW Regional Conference on 10 October in Byron Bay.

Ms Wong-See said: ‘Country NSW is such a beautiful place and this year’s Awards entries reflect the deep understanding of architects from around the region to the importance of design that is sensitive to place, the local ecosystem and sustainability. The jury were inspired by the many high calibre entries.’

NSW Chapter President, Kathlyn Loseby, congratulated all 2019 award winners and noted: ‘Regional architects make a significant contribution not only to the profession but more importantly in the vital role they play in creating local designs that support more sustainable and connected communities.’

High resolution images and project details are available for download from Awards Force at: https://nationalarchitecture.awardsplatform.com/register/zvajnOVa

Images are provided only for use in articles relating to the NSW Country Division Architecture Awards program run by the Australian Institute of Architects. Use in any other context is strictly prohibited without written permission from the submitting architect. All images must credit the architect, photographer and the Australian Institute of Architects.

For media enquiries contact:
Wilma Walsh
Communications Officer, NSW
Australian Institute of Architects
M. +61 (0) 421 012 566

Full list of winning projects by award category below:

James Barnet Award
Winner – Cloud Cottage (Bowral) Takt Studio

Residential Architecture – Houses (New)
Winner – Cloud Cottage (Bowral) Takt Studio
Winner – Blade House (Coredale Illawarra Coast) Takt Studio
Commendation – Eyrie House (Kangaroo Valley) Local Architect South Coast

Termimesh Timber Award
Award – Cloud Cottage (Bowral) Takt Studio

Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions)
Winner – March House (Orange) Source Architects
Commendation – Exoskeleton House (Thirroul) Takt Studio

Interior Architecture
Winner – March House (Orange) Source Architects

Public Architecture
Winner – Tuncurry Resource Recovery Centre (Tuncurry) Ian Sercombe Architect

Heritage Architecture
Winner – Kingscliff Community Hall and Amenities (Kingscliff) Aspect Architecture
Commendation – March House (Orange) Source Architects

People’s Choice Award
Winner – Echo Beach House (Casuarina Beach) Create Architecture

Residential Architecture – Affordable Housing (under $400,000)
Commendation – Charlotte Shack (Charlotte Bay) Ian Sercombe Architect

Commercial Architecture Award
Commendation – Spicers Sangoma Retreat (Bowen Mountain) Barbara Tarnawski Architects

Small Projects
Commendation – Fingal Oasis (Fingal) Aspect Architecture

Sustainable Architecture
Commendation – Tuncurry Resource Recovery Centre (Tuncurry) Ian Sercombe Architect

Vision Award
Commendation – PLAN RAND (Rand) Regional Design Service

The Australian Institute of Architects is the peak body for the architectural profession, representing almost 11,000 members across Australia and overseas. The Institute actively works to improve the quality of our built environment by promoting quality, responsible and sustainable design. Learn more about the Institute, go to www.architecture.com.au

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