New home builds with creative designs
The Houses Awards annually celebrate the best in Australian home design and architecture. The awards showcase new home builds, with special categories for homes under 200 square metres, great gardens, sustainability, and more. These lovely entries are some of the best places to call home in the country, crafted lovingly by top architects.
Cabbage Tree House
Peter Stutchbury Architecture built this marvel into a hillside in the NSW suburb of Bayview. Stutchbury’s style has been called “lyrical technologist” by the Australian Institute of Architects, which awarded him its gold medal in 2015. Cabbage Tree House blends in with the surrounding landscape, while the interior has a cosy feel, cave-like but with skylights allowing ample light in. With its appreciation for nature and hillside aesthetic, Cabbage Tree House looks like a place the wealthiest hobbit would live in.
Winner in the under-200-sqm category, this abode in Springhill, Victoria, is the simple yet elegant brainchild of Lovell Burton Architecture. Checking in at 120 sqm, Springhill House is inspired by hay sheds that dot the countryside. It is part of a series of new home builds that “supports the notion that a dwelling has emotional foundations and memory intrinsic to its physical built form,” according to the architects. The house is situated near the high point of an undulating landscape that flows toward two dams and a spring at the low point.
The Books House
Luigi Rosselli Architects got the idea for this home after a reading of “The Importance of Living” by Lin Yutang, which inspired the winding “dragon” path leading to the front door and the incorporation of sandstone in the interior. The view from the north side of Sydney Harbour is astounding and can be taken in from a terrace on each level. The roof is equipped with solar panels that heat the pool as well as supply energy to the rest of the house.
Blinco Street House
Philip Stejskal Architecture designed this house for a fly-in, fly-out worker in Fremantle, WA. It provides a respite from a stressful work environment, “a constancy in contrast to the flux of the client’s professional life.” A spiralling enclosed central staircase links the inward-looking first floor to the rooftop terrace, providing the right balance of solitude and being a part of the neighbourhood.
Lune de Sang Pavilion
CHROFI turned a former dairy property into a lush, subtropical Byron Bay getaway. The multi-generational retreat is at all times inviting, with ample public space embracing the surrounding rainforest with floor-to-ceiling windows. Locally sourced materials lend hope to the architects’ wish that the house will entertain a family for generations to come as the forest matures over the next 300 years. We don’t know how that will work out, but it sure is a nice thought and a beautiful house.
Coastal Garden House
Neeson Murcutt Architects included plenty of outdoor space and places to lounge in collaboration with 360 Degree Landscape in this off-form concrete dwelling on the slopes of a sandstone cliff. The solid, fortress-like exterior gives way to beautiful water views and a welcoming interior full of nooks perfect for sneaking away to read in the natural light. The garden dominates the outside space, even creeping up onto the back staircase.
Among the new home builds in a heritage context, this Rob Kennon Architects project intervenes in the original fabric of the house, built in 1861 in Melbourne’s first suburb. Modern design blends with older flourishes such as wrought-iron fencing and stone archways to make this 125 sqm building feel like home. The changes are subtle but potent, taking care to preserve the heritage of the area.
This new home build from Candelpas Associates shies away from the suburban Sydney street it sits on, but once inside, visitors are welcomed into a secret world of brilliant white brick with harbour and skyline views. The layout affords plenty of privacy to each member of a family of five with centralised communal spaces bringing everyone together. Timber accents add just the right splash of colour.
Bruny Island Hideaway
Life is simple on an island off another island, and this getaway by Maguire + Devine Architects embraces that. The owner grew up in minimalist, traditional Japanese-style houses and wanted this off-grid cabin to be an escape from the rigours of work life. Yet with an outdoor soaking tub, tea room, kitchenette, full bathroom, and sleeping loft, it’s amazing how much can fit in a small space. Bruny Island Hideaway proves simple can still be sophisticated.
Tess + JJ’s House
Amid historic homes in the Melbourne suburb of South Yarra, Po-Co Architecture managed to squeeze this house into a tight spot between two existing dwellings. Po-Co’s new home builds maximise light and bright spaces, and this house built for a family of four is no exception. Constructed vertically, it looks like a single storey from the street but is actually bi-level and finds room for a lovely garden and swimming pool.