Invisible house, a NSW mountainside retreat by Peter Stutchbury Architecture, has been awarded the title of 2014 Australian House of the Year, taking the prize from a shortlist of 120 residential projects.

Praised by the jury for its balanced response to the site location, the project adorns the western edge of NSW’s eastern mountain ranges and complements its surrounds with curved form and referential materials.

“The form, materials and details are mastered in this house, running from inside to out and then into the landscape as one,” said the jury.

“From both inside and out, changes in nature are apparent, in wet and dry, hot and cold and through the seasons of the year.”

Photography:  Michael Nicholson

Stutchbury also took the New House over 200sqm in the 2014 Houses Awards, while Dogtrot House (NSW) by Dunn & Hillam Architects took out the under 200sqm category.

Like Invisible House, Dogtrot House was acknowledged by the Jury for its carefully considered design and its strong landscape reference.

“Although in an obvious lineage of Australian shed architecture, this simple shelter is convincingly a permanent campsite, where the experience and delight of being in the place is more important (and rejuvenating) than conventional comforts,” cited the Jury.

“Yes, you will occasionally get wet and cold, but genuine immersion in a special place has clearly underpinned the development of this scheme.”

Other notable winners were Adrian Amore Architects who took out the Apartment or Unit category for their Loft Apartment project, and Breathe Architecture whose The Commons multi-residential project won them the Sustainability category.

The Awards were announced at Sydney’s Doltone House Hyde Park on Friday 1 August and hosted by Houses magazine editor Katelin Butler and Architecture Media editorial director Cameron Bruhn.

They were judged by a host of architects, media representatives and designers, which included:

  • Brian Donovan, BVN Donovan Hill, Qld
  • Maggie Edmond, Edmond and Corrigan, Vic
  • William Smart, Smart Design Studio, NSW
  • Emma Williamson, CODA Studio, WA
  • Katelin Butler, Houses magazine
  • Peter Williams, Williams Boag Architects, who provided architectural advice in the Heritage category

The full list of 2014 Houses Award winners:

Australian House of the Year

  • Invisible House (NSW) by Peter Stutchbury Architecture

New House under 200sqm

  • Dogtrot House (NSW) by Dunn & Hillam Architects. Photography: Kilian O'Sullivan

New House over 200sqm

  • Invisible House (NSW) by Peter Stutchbury Architecture

House Alteration and Addition under 200sqm

  • Cabin Two (Vic) by Maddison Architects. Photography: Will Watt

House Alteration and Addition over 200sqm

  • Skylight House (NSW) by Andrew Burges Architects. Photography: Peter Bennetts

Apartment or Unit

  • Loft Apartment (Vic) by Adrian Amore Architects. Photography: Fraser Marsden

House in a Heritage Context – joint winner

  • Westgarth House (Vic) by Kennedy Nolan Architects. Photography: Derek Swalwell
  • Middle Park House (Vic) by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects. Photography: John Gollings


  • The Garden Project (NSW) by Welsh + Major Architects. Photography: Brett Boardman


  • The Commons (Vic) by Breathe Architecture. Photograph:  Andrew Wuttke