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The Winners of the House Awards 2022

An annual highlight on the country’s design calendar, the 2022 Houses Awards showcased the pinnacle of design with an exemplary presentation of the best of the best in residential architecture.

Held on the 29th of July, the 2022 Houses Awards was hosted at the prestigious State Library of Victoria. Now in its 12th edition, this year’s esteemed awards celebrated Australia’s most incredible residences, recognising the achievements and contributions of local architects and designers to support and enrich our ever-changing landscape. 

Spanning ten categories, the list of this year’s winners is nothing short of extraordinary with one house making awards history by taking home four titles. The incredible Autumn House by Studio Bright received Australian House of the Year; House Alteration and Addition Over 200 Square Metres; Garden or Landscape; and House in a Heritage Context, which was jointly awarded to Fusilier Cottage by Bence Mulcahy. The astounding recognition of Autumn House was a show-stopping achievement that will be remembered in the legacy of the Houses Awards. 

Autumn House by Studio Bright

Award: Australian House of the Year; House Alteration and Addition over 200 square metres; Garden or Landscape; House in a Heritage Context (Joint-Winner)

Jury members awarded the highest accolade of Australian House of the Year – along with the other honoured recognitions – to Studio Bright for Autumn House. Studio Bright adds a new, resolved layer to a Victorian terrace and its 1980s renovation, which addresses the need for refuge, retreat and privacy while coexisting with its urban surroundings. 

The award-winning design unites three distinct eras: the original bones of the Victorian structure, the intimacy of the 1980s extension by architect Mick Jorgensen and an array of contemporary additions that enrich the resident’s connection to nature. The project is a multifaceted design response to the needs and lifestyles of the family within with a showcase of a confident, yet delicate form that beautifully tells the story of the past, present and future all at once. 

On Autumn House, the jury expresses, “Autumn House’s multiple successes in this year’s awards testify to the comprehensive design thinking that underpins the project. The jury admired the richness evident in every room, the successful integration of house and garden, and the respect shown for layers of history. This house is a stand-out example of what can be achieved in the imaginative reworking of the humble terraced house, and it is deservingly named 2022 Australian House of the Year.” 

Always by Kennedy Nolan

Award: New House over 200 square metres

Recipient of the New House over 200 square metres is the breathtaking coastal residence, Always by Kennedy Nolan. The jury communicates, “Spurning the idea that a coastal home should frame a single view, this house celebrates its dramatic coastal setting while also offering a beautifully warm and calming refuge.”

Situated on the coastline of Flinders – a picturesque seaside town along Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula – Always is currently a weekender and a summer house, which will evolve into a more permanent residence in the years to come. Kennedy Nolan crafted an experience of surprise, familiarity and delight, showcasing undisturbed views of the coastal landscape elevated by the comprehensive use of raw materials throughout the build. The robust and striking material palette featuring weathering timber, Coldstream stone walls, recessed timber-framed glazing slips and soft, textural furnishings allow this home to ease into its coastal setting and function harmoniously with the environment. 

The jury continues, “Recessive in the landscape, it “remembers” the form of the old house that once occupied the site while equipping it for long-term inhabitation and enjoyment.” 

Corner House by Archier

Award: New House under 200 square metres

Corner House by Archier receives the award for New House under 200 square metres. Throughout the residence, Corner House creates unique experiences and fosters close relationships within a small number of refined spaces. Each space was driven by a compelling client brief, which led to the creation of a comprehensive interior landscape that allows both independence and connection for two working design professionals. Deceptively simple, the architect’s rigorous attention to detail and the role of natural light throughout the space can be seen through special moments of delight and serenity.

The jury notes, “Robust and refined, elegant and effortless, Corner House is a study in how we can live with spirited connectedness in (sometimes drab) suburban contexts. Its mastery of light and shade, tactile restraint and calm inventiveness made it a clear and deserving winner.” 

Cascade House by John Ellway

Award: House Alteration and Addition under 200 square metres

Aptly named, Cascade House, this elevated Queenslander steeps effortlessly down its sloping terrain, which navigates a four-metre level change across the site offering new, common areas for the residents. This elegant addition is separated by courtyard and landscape, lined with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows designed to deeply connect its occupants with nature. 

John Ellway crafts a new public program – an extension of the weatherboard cottage with new living and social spaces for inhabitants to gather for meals, conversation and relaxation. Secluded from the main residence, this cleverly executed addition highlights the importance of our coexistence with nature for comfortable and thoughtful modern living. 

The jury notes, “It exemplifies how harnessing the constraints of the site can lead to utterly delightful outcomes for family life.” 

Inala Apartment by Brad Swartz Architects

Award: Apartment or Unit

A 1963 two-bedroom apartment by the name of Inala is the recipient of this year’s Apartment or Unit award. Named after the Aboriginal word meaning ‘resting place,’ Brad Swartz Architects transformed a modest residence into a sophisticated home that evokes a sense of calm and forges new connections to light and landscape in Sydney’s north. 

A love letter from bygones past, this red-brick apartment block was built on 1960s ideals of a well-functioning home. Today, the reimagined Inala Apartment responds considerately to its modern occupants’ needs for flexible and dynamic living spaces. Every intricate detail has been purposefully integrated; from arrival to relaxing, socialising and sleeping, Inala prioritises the resident’s contemporary patterns with maximum efficiency on a daily basis.  

The jury adds, “Inala Apartment re-imagines what is possible in our middle ring, mid-rise dense suburbs, invisibly placing the “machinery of living” at the disposal of a generous and full family life.” 

Fusilier Cottage by Bence Mulcahy

Award: House in a Heritage Context (Joint-Winner)

Designed by Bence Mulcahy, Fusilier Cottage jointly received this year’s award for House in a Heritage Context. Located on a highly sought-after part of Hobart’s historic Battery Point, the state-heritage-listed property is an 1830s Georgian bluestone building with historic sandstone dressings. This striking build occupies a corner site, nestled alongside a lush garden and sycamore overlooking the neighbourhood street. 

Bence Mulcahy transformed a modest cottage into a feat of cleverly-crafted contemporary architecture. Sitting adjacent to the existing structure is the new living pavilion defined by a warm, timber interior and bluestone floor. Paying homage to the site’s past, the addition celebrates Fusilier Cottage’s heritage through a captivating material palette and sophisticated form. 

The jury expresses, “Through the addition of a new living pavilion, the architects have transformed the cottage to meet contemporary living and regulatory standards on a highly scrutinised site. The clever design exhibits both architectural restraint and generosity of spirit.” 

The Hütt 01 Passivhaus by Melbourne Design Studios (MDS)

Award: Sustainability

Receiving this year’s Sustainability award is Hütt 01 Passivhaus by Melbourne Design Studio. Setting a new standard for practical and measurable sustainability, this contemporary piece of architecture delivers an inspiring brief for small-scale urban densification and sustainable living. 

Set in-between a rail corridor and a bustling main thoroughfare nearby, Hütt 01 consists of a small internal footprint of just 78 square metres located on a challenging site. The residents wanted a ‘super-sustainable oasis’ – aspiring to both net-zero energy and carbon neutrality – that prioritises the inhabitants’ comfort and wellbeing with high-performance technologies and systems to enhance the overall experience. 

This example of efficient, small-footprint living celebrates the sustainable ideal of doing more with less with compact, high-performing zones that put both the resident’s needs and the earth’s health at the forefront. This year’s jury concludes, “Hütt 01 Passivhaus is a place where its occupants can thrive, and it exemplifies a new standard with no sacrifice of the architectural outcome.” 

Placement Studio

Award: Emerging Architecture Practice

Labelled by the jury as a ‘promising young studio,’ Placement Studio has won this year’s Emerging Architecture Practice award. The emerging Melbourne-based practice was founded in 2019 by Stephanie Kitingan, Jacquelin O’Brien and James Flaherty. The team is made up of dedicated architects that ‘complement and uncomplicate everyday life,’ crafting characterful environments that leave a lasting impression. Informed by the process of gathering, Placement Studio sees all influences, stories and elements as inspirations to deliver meaningful and considered design to the industry. 

The jury notes, “The spaces of their built residential work are layered and quiet – tinged with nostalgia, yet still of their time and place. This spatial richness demonstrates a def understanding of sensory qualities and longevity over short-term fads. This understanding is important now more than ever, as our homes have taken on multiple roles in recent times.”

All information and jury notes have been taken from the official Houses Awards 2022 website. 

“The project is a multifaceted design response to the needs and lifestyles of the family within with a showcase of a confident, yet delicate form that beautifully tells the story of the past, present and future all at once.”


“The project is a multifaceted design response to the needs and lifestyles of the family within with a showcase of a confident, yet delicate form that beautifully tells the story of the past, present and future all at once.”

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