As we say goodbye to July, we take a look at the top 10 stories from the month that was. 

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

1-1.jpg1. 2017 NSW Architecture Awards winners announced

A large number of projects were recognised at the 2017 NSW Architecture Awards in early July.

From a shortlist of 88 projects, 66 awards and commendations were handed out across seven categories: commercial, educational, heritage, interior, public, residential and sustainable.

Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing was the most-represented category in the 2017 NSW program. From a strong field of 34 entries, the jury shortlisted 14 projects. A total of nine awards and commendations were bestowed in this category alone.

2.jpg2. Four firms join forces for ‘once-in-a-generation’ $800-million Melbourne tower

Woods Bagot will join forces with London’s Seventh Wave, Dutch practice UNStudio and Paris-based Jouin Manku for an $800-million mixed-use tower in Melbourne CBD. The project, developed by Australian firm QICGRE, has been described as a “once-in-a-generation transformation”.

Dubbed 80 Collins Street, the towering glass-clad development will incorporate 43,000 square metres of office space alongside a “boutique” hotel and a spread of luxury retail space. The new office area will be accompanied by a major refurbishment to the adjacent office and commercial tower.

3.jpg3. More than 500 architects removed from NSW register

The NSW Architects Registration Board removed 566 architects from the state register. The board’s decision was made effective from 1 July 2017, meaning that many architects working within NSW may be entering the new financial year in violation of the Architects Act.

According to the Act, registered architects must renew their licence on an annual basis if they are to continue legally using the term architect. This year, a change in registration procedures was implemented across NSW. In light of the changes, the board contacted all state-registered architects in March with renewal reminders.

4.jpg4. Mona’s David Walsh announces plans for gallery expansion and on-site hotel

A few weeks ago, the founder of Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) revealed plans for the long-anticipated “next phase” of the gallery.

At a luncheon for Tasmania’s tourism industry, David Walsh unveiled designs for expansions to the gallery, including a new on-site hotel called Homo – an acronym for HOtel MOna.

If planning approval from government and community support are both received, the five-star, 172-room hotel will be built outwards from the existing gallery site at Berridale. Draft renders for the project – designed by David Walsh in collaboration with Fender Katsalidis Architects – reveal an orange steel-and-glass structure that juts out over the bay in an elongated rhombus shape.

5.jpg5. D’Entrecasteaux House: embracing the landscape, rejecting the elements

From a certain angle, D’Entrecasteaux House looks like a stone-walled fortress – a design decision that seems strange considering the panoramic views of Bruny Island that the residence is privy to. But looks can be deceiving. From the inside, the Tasmanian fortress seems to be all light, air and views.

The rhombus-shaped footprint of the building opens up the interior to an unusual arrangement of outdoors spaces. Inserted behind the stacked stone walls around the periphery, the architects at Tasmanian practice Room 11 have designed a series of largely triangular courtyards, decks and viewing platforms.

6.jpg6. Approval for $100m sunken cliff face resort in Tasmania

Approval has been granted for a 50-room luxury hotel that will be sunk into a cliff face on the north-west coast of Tasmania.

The proposed design, by Sydney-based firm Silvester Fuller, is mostly sunken below ground level. Various structural elements jut out from the cliff face and look out over the bay beneath.

The structure’s integration with the landscape is further enhanced by a green “roofscape” that conceals the subterranean levels from above-ground views.

7.jpg7. A breezy alteration to a century-old heritage-listed home

When an architect performs an alteration or addition to a heritage-listed home, there is often an unspoken – and even more often, a spoken – expectation that the modern design demurs to the look, feel and fabric of the existing building.

When Dalecki Design undertook an addition to the century-old Perth home known as The Wasley, they weren’t quite so demure. The extension to the heritage-listed home – which saw the addition of a bedroom and a renewed focus on entertainment spaces – is a bold departure from the old style. And yet, it is at pains to retain a sense of cohesion and sensitivity.

8.jpg8. Landmark victory for Sirius: heritage ruling overturned in court

Last week, the NSW Land & Environment Court overturned the highly contested decision not to include Sydney’s Brutalist icon, the Sirius building, on the state heritage register.

The decision comes after a long civic battle against last year’s ruling by NSW Heritage Minister, Mark Speakman, that the Sirius building was not a state-significant site.

Designed by architect Tao Goffers, the Sirius building has acted as social housing since the 1970s. Speakman’s decision to demolish the building to make way for 250 new apartments was met with passionate opposition from the likes of the Millers Point Action Group and the Save Our Sirius Foundation. Over $50,000 has been raised through crowd-funding by local residents alone, in a bid to save the building.

9.jpg9. Concrete and motion: Moving House by Architects EAT

Looking at Moving House, the name is not immediately clear. As a residence built on a foundation of off-form concrete and clad in robust aluminium panels, it seems more of a fortress than a house in motion.

It is through the interior that one begins to grasp the meaning. Filled with vaulted ceilings, unexpected geometries and an influx of nature, Moving House is one that moves with the elements that are channelled in via a series of architectural magic tricks.

10.jpg10. $7-billion proposal for major Melbourne airport to be put to government

A private investor has put together a $7-billion proposal for another major Melbourne airport. The plans, made by Paragon Premier Investment Fund, would see the construction of a new commercial airport between Koo Wee Rup and Lang Lang, positioned the serve the city’s booming south-eastern suburbs.

According to draft plans, the proposed airport would initially be the approximate size of Canberra airport, with the capacity to handle roughly 2.8 million passengers per year. If approved, the airport could begin handling cargo flights from as soon as 2020.

Two runways have been proposed in the initial draft, though Paragon says that two additional runways would be built as demand grew in the region.