With February behind us, let’s take a look at the top 10 stories covered throughout the month. Click on the title to read the full story, and let us know which ones were your favourites – or what else we should have covered.

1. Modern architecture makes stunning extension to Victorian heritage home 

Armadale-1_02_Web.jpgThis project involved refurbishment and extension of an existing Victorian heritage home in Armadale, Melbourne. The clients, a professional builder and his family called for an elegant and striking contemporary design solution to transform this compact double fronted Victorian style house into a generous family home.

The architectural solution utilises a series of simple folded planes to define spaces, control views, shade windows, and articulate the form of the building so as to reduce the visual impact of the first floor when viewed from the rear garden. This is a design that appears simultaneously striking or discreet depending on where it is viewed from.

2. Sustainable shipping container home is one with the trees

Galvanised steel shipping containers stand tall among the trees in this holiday home on Victoria’s Surf Coast.41.jpg

Described as a ‘weekend retreat’ by architect Studio Edwards, this sustainable house is made from three stilted shipping containers embedded into the hillside, making it feel like another one of the trees along the Wye River.

One of the main priorities for this project was to build a sustainable house that would not only blend in with its surroundings, but also have minimal impact on the surrounding vegetation.

3. Unique rebuild of 1950s Melbourne home that ‘floats on water’

Blackburn_018_RETO-1.jpgThe rebuild of this eco-friendly house in Melbourne has resulted in a sustainable home that provided many challenges to overcome - including a running creek prone to flooding.

Located on Jeffery Street - a National Heritage street in Blackburn known as one of the most unique native environments in residential Melbourne, the project consisted of building a new four-bedroom home with three bathrooms and three living areas, including an alfresco entertaining space.

The original house was a 1950s flat roof home with big plate glass windows, and, according to designer, Peter Earnshaw of Earnshaw & Associates, it was very modern for its time.

4. Concrete and timber home complements Castlecrag conservation area

23655.jpgThe owners of this house contacted Porebski Architects after they visited the first house in Castlecrag designed by Andre in 1972. They were drawn to the compact size, the subtle building palette of the house and the respect it had towards the Walter Burley Griffin conservation area.

As the owner grew up in the original post-war house built by his parents on the site (similar to the surrounding houses) his knowledge of the site was very helpful.

5. Six degrees of pedagogical perfection from college’s heritage reuse

8970.jpgAccording to architects Six Degrees, Albert Park College (APC) was an adaptive reuse of significant heritage listed Sandridge Post and Telegraph Office (JJ Clarke 1887) and Naval Drill Hall (1911).

Peter Malatt, Six Degrees director says, “the design highlights the heritage qualities - robust construction, light and airy interiors and original timber floors, and inserts modern teaching pedagogy and technology.”

“The design also adapts the existing mezzanine and lower floors into large teaching and learning spaces and retains the Drill Hall as a performance and teaching space,” he says.

6. Developer seeks court’s permission to break NSW building rules

fec2e12f6618c9f1dd1cb0ea5c86e73c9bf9d301.jpgA developer has approached the NSW Land and Environment Court, seeking permission to breach planning rules on building height at his project in Sydney's Balgowlah Heights.

While the developer claims that his proposed three-level apartment building with two commercial units on the ground floor will offer greater housing choice, the Northern Beaches Council has objected to the development application and sought its withdrawal.

According to the Council, the application didn’t meet their rules for building height, parking and privacy, and communal open space allocation.

7. Beulah International seeks world-class architect for BMW site

adelene_profile-002_1-1.jpgDeveloper Beulah International is touring the globe to meet with world-class architects, hoping to bring a firm to Australia to help design the newly-acquired BMW site in Southbank.

The company is looking to appoint a contemporary and innovative firm known for its ground-breaking architectural designs, who will work alongside an Australian firm on the BMW site. The chosen firm will work with an Australian firm who has local knowledge and understands the Melbourne culture and skyline, to ensure the best design outcome is achieved.

8. Lendlease to develop UOW’s Health and Wellbeing Precinct

uow243811.jpgLendlease has been chosen as the development partner for the University of Wollongong’s new Health and Wellbeing Precinct.

According to UOW, the Precinct will include Australia’s first primary and community health clinic to offer truly integrated, patient-centred healthcare, as well as aged care and retirement living facilities, and research and teaching programs.

9. Controversy over plans for 90-year-old heritage theatre

Roxy-Theatre-Civic-Link-002.jpgA proposed design concept for the redevelopment of a beloved theatre in the Parramatta CBD has drawn criticism.

The Roxy Theatre on George Street, Parramatta has been around since 1930, when it was run as a cinema by entertainment chains Hoyts and Village. The cinema closed in 2002 and was bought by developer David Kingston of K Capital Group, and run as a hotel and nightclub until 2014. 

Currently, the site is sitting vacant, with an architectural design competition in the works to source designs for a facility with a 700-seat theatre, ballroom, function centre, restaurants, cafes and shops. Kingston plans to restore the heritage-listed theatre and build a 33 storey tower above.

10. Developer buys up nurseries to secure plant supply for future builds

rockdale.jpgBarangaroo-based property developer Romeciti has purchased two nurseries - North Rocks Greenery and Camden Nursery - in a move they say, will give them the ability to guarantee the delivery of green landscapes to their urban projects.

The move is part of Romeciti's 'Green Philosophy', which it says makes 'green' as more than just a buzz word, but a completely different way to live - one that's healthier for residents and the planet.

According to the company, over 50 percent of its apartment developments are dedicated to green space, including abundant leafy rooftop gardens, native plants for landscaping and investments in sustainable design and technologies.