Renzo Piano will have his long-awaited second Australian project, Bates Smart has designed the world’s skinniest tower in Melbourne and Australia’s oldest university is set to receive a $1.4 billion upgrade.

These are just a few of the stories that hit the Architecture & Design news desk in March in what was a month of big announcements for the Australian building design sector.

The 2015 Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards were also announced by the Australian Institute of Architects and the coveted Gold Medal for Architecture was awarded to Peter Stutchbury of Peter Stutchbury Architecture.

Besides these new stories, there were also many projects completed in late 2014 that hit the press in March, just in time for the nation’s many architecture and building design awards to kick off.  Tower House by Andrew Maynard Architects was the favourite for readers this month and is number nine on the below list—the top 10 stories for Architecture & Design in March.

Click on the title or images to be taken to the original story, and let us know which your favourites were - or what else we should have covered.

1. Fly through new Barangaroo South concept plans - unveiled by Lend Lease

Lend Lease’s revised Concept Plan for Sydney’s Barangaroo South saw James Packer’s $1.5 billion Crown hotel resort move from its approved position on a harbour pier to the north-west corner of the Barangaroo South site. It also saw a host of other changes to the 2011 proposal; some well received by the public, others not so popular.

2. Renzo Piano to design Sydney’s Barangaroo South residential towers

Sydney’s Barangaroo South will soon see its own Renzo Piano creation, with the Pritzker Prize-winning architect announced as the designer for the precinct’s next stage of residential apartments. See how Piano’s three residential towers fit in with the adjacent apartments by FJMT and PTW architects as well as the nearby James Packer's casino by Wilkinson Eyre Architects.

3. Life in small rooms: 5 micro apartments and how they fit it all in

The micro apartment is no stranger to cities where space is a premium, such as Tokyo and Hong Kong, although the concept has really taken off in the last decade when downsizing became trendy. Yet, the creation of smaller and smaller units continues to divide opinions and apartment design standards in Australia seem to discourage the design of tiny flats. But can tiny design be good design? Some international examples offer a resounding yes.

4.  Bates Smart designs Melbourne skinny tower with engineering method rarely used in Australia

One of the world’s skinniest towers has been designed for Melbourne’s CBD and if approved will soar for 57 storeys to 195 metres high all the while measuring just 12 metres wide. The developers also purchased the air rights over the adjoining building which meant more floor space could be achieved.

5. 2015 Australian Interior Design Awards (AIDA) finalists announced

151 finalists have been picked from an astounding 400 entries across seven primary categories for the 2015 Australian Interior Design Awards. The best interior projects from Australian architects, building designers and interior designers will now be assessed by the jury before a May 15 awards presentation. See all the finalists here:

6. Landscape architect wins Melbourne Show Garden Gold Medal with living pergola creation

It seems our audience has a soft heart after all. This project review of a recent garden installation from the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show (MIFGS) was as popular among readers as it was among the jury for the event’s awards program.  

7. New Royal Adelaide Hospital named third most expensive building in the world

While we were hardly surprised with number one, we were stunned to hear that the New Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) designed by Silver Thomas Hanley in joint venture with DesignInc (STHDI) had been named the third most costly project in the world.  See how much the project and the other Australian project in the list here:

 8. Sydney architecture studio caught underpaying intern by almost $7,000

A male architecture student, aged in his 20s was short-changed almost $7,000 while working as an intern for a Sydney-based firm.  And while the Fair Work Obudsman has stepped in to see that the student was paid back in full, it is a worrying event for the architecture profession.

9. Tower House by Andrew Maynard Architects is really a village with a fifth façade

“It takes a village to raise a family.”

If Tower House had a motto, this phrase would be it. After all, instead of the traditional monolithic block addition to the back of an existing home, this Alphington, Victoria renovation and extension features a row of small structures with a scale and texture that do not dominate their context, so that a hamlet of sorts is created.

10. $1.4 billion Sydney Uni design concept approved

Eight buildings will be demolished and replaced under the new masterplan for The University of Sydney released by NSW Minister for Planning Pru Goward. The proposal will also create new education facilities for approximately 10,000 new students at its Camperdown and Darlington campuses, such as the total rebuilding of its Engineering and Health precincts.