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

Click on the 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 Sustainability Awards winners revealed

After 11 years, over 1,000 entries and almost 130 winners, Architecture & Design celebrated its annual Sustainability Awards by rocking the Harbour City last week and showing the build, design and construction industry just how good sustainability can look.

This year, from an original pool of 158 entries, our esteemed judging panel narrowed it down to a shortlist of 53 finalists from which the 13 winners were chosen.


2.jpg2. Sydney to be split into three separate cities by 2056

The NSW Government has announced a radical 40-year strategy for the City of Sydney, which will see it split into three separate cities by 2056. The plan foresees an eastern city bordering the harbour, a river city around Parramatta, and a parkland city in the west.

Improved transport infrastructure and housing have been identified as imperative to the success of the government’s plan. A separate yet complementary transport plan has been released promising that a 30-minute commute will be possible between all three city centres by the time the plan is complete.

3.jpg3. A rhythmic home for a musical family

Living with like-minded individuals creates a comfortable and welcoming environment. But a residential project in Melbourne demonstrates that a well-designed space can accommodate diversity side-by-side with similarity.

Designed by Delia Teschendorff Architecture, the Rhythm House project consisted of an extension to a 1920s bungalow for a family of five accomplished musicians. More specifically, the project in West Brunswick provides new living areas, a specialised sound recording space and a performance area that accommodates a grand piano.

4.jpg4. Jeff Povan, director of Neometro, on the new breed of ethical developers

In the lead-up to his talk on ‘High density happiness: Apartment standards twelve months on’ at MPavilion this year, Architecture & Design sat down with the director of the “granddaddy of the new breed of Melbourne property developers”, Neometro’s Jeff Provan.

Are expectations for developments getting higher? Is the industry evolving for the better? And why are we just talking about Melbourne? According to Provan, the industry is slowly but surely moving in the right direction.

5.jpg5. Cubby Office: welcoming the family to the office space

Architecture is an industry known for its demanding hours and strenuous workloads. Often, this dynamic can lead to a strain on the family front. Trying to strike a work-life balance becomes even more important when both husband and wife are architects.

This was the case for Ray Cheung and Elisbaet Krisna from Krisna Cheung Architects. The architect couple required a space that would allow them to monitor and connect with their two children during working hours while still fulfilling the functional needs of an office environment; a workplace design that was capable of blurring the line between work and home life.

Their response was the Cubby Office, a separate two-storey timber and polycarbonate addition to their family home in north Melbourne.

6.jpg6. Rothelowman project to feature Melbourne’s first suspended residential “sky pool”

Approval has been granted to the largest-ever project to be launched in the Melbourne precinct of Boroondara. Costed at $300 million, the Rothelowman-designed Hawthorn Park project will contain a total of 368 residences.

Not just breaking records for its size, Hawthorn Park is also remarkable for being the first residential development in Melbourne to feature a suspended swimming pool. The “sky pool” will be constructed as a 25-metre lap-style pool that hovers between the two apartment towers and provides access to residential amenities.

7.jpg7. Coogee House: an abstract object in the suburban landscape

The Coogee House is located on a steeply sloping corner block with panoramic views to the Pacific Ocean in Sydney. The site is exposed to strong ocean winds, salt spray and harsh sunlight, and the dwelling was required to maximise views from the site whilst also providing privacy from the street and neighbours, with shaded internal and external living areas.

The dwelling was conceived as a solid masonry shell sheathed in a lightweight protective veil. A tent-like roof structure and operable battened screen walls provide shade and privacy to the living spaces.

8.png8. LAVA releases $15b Garden Island vision for Sydney

Earlier this month, international “laboratory for visionary architecture”, LAVA, released their design vision for Garden Island in Sydney Harbour.

In the designs, a dense cluster of green-coated, organic-form buildings emerge from the headland, transforming the previously inaccessible navy centre into a community of cultural and residential offerings. According to LAVA, the buildings’ designs were inspired by the “sweeping curves of Sydney Harbour, with all its wonderful bays and beaches and headlands”. The renders themselves recall a series of large-form stones covered with moss.

9.jpg9. Coherence in division: Two Halves House

A family home in Victoria’s Daylesford Region has reconciled the age-old tension between community and privacy with a coherent yet split design. Instead of succumbing to the kneejerk reflex of a single, freestanding home, Moloney Architects divided the site into two Blackbutt-clad pavilions that appear to stand alone, but in fact live hand-in-hand.

Two Halves House is appropriately named for its divided and monolithic architectural form. The design separates the informality and community of the open-plan living zone from the privacy and quiet seclusion of its neighbouring sleeping and bathing quarters. As well as connecting with its own forms, the home facilitates a reconciliation with its bush surrounds.

10.jpg10. Winner of QLD tourism award rejects Adani-sponsored prize

One of the winners of the 2017 Whitsundays Tourism Award rejected the prize on the basis it had been sponsored by the Adani mining magnates.

Lindsay Simpson, whose company Providence Sailing won a tour and transport operators’ prize, told The Guardian that her company decided to decline the prize after doing some “serious thinking” and coming to the conclusion they did not want to be associated with a company that was “singlehandedly destroying everything that we stand for”.