Taking 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)’.
They noted: “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 was also bestowed the ‘Termimesh Timber Award’ for 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 house pays homage to the history of Australian coastal towns,” the jury said.
“Elevated from the ground plane to harness the coastal views the design is orientated in a way that pays attention to the ever-changing site conditions.”
Source Architects’ March House 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 MidCoast Council in Forster 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.
Moreover, the Kingscliff Community Hall and Amenities project by Aspect Architecture won the ‘Heritage Architecture’ award.
The jury detailed that 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 a community landmark, as harmonious to each other as they are to their surrounding town,” they said.
In addition to the eight awards, the jury awarded eight commendations.
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 that 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,” she said.
NSW Chapter President, Kathlyn Loseby, congratulated all 2019 award winners.
She 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.”
The full list of winning projects by award category can be found 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
Winner – March House (Orange) Source Architects
Winner – Tuncurry Resource Recovery Centre (Tuncurry) Ian Sercombe Architect
Winner – Kingscliff Community Hall and Amenities (Kingscliff) Aspect Architecture
Commendation – March House (Orange) Source Architects
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
Commendation – Fingal Oasis (Fingal) Aspect Architecture
Commendation – Tuncurry Resource Recovery Centre (Tuncurry) Ian Sercombe Architect
Commendation – PLAN RAND (Rand)Regional Design Service