Innovative design was a common thread amongst the winners of the 2019 Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards announced recently in Sydney.

From a masterplanned community in Sydney designed for a broad range of home buyers, a boutique apartment development in Melbourne that upsized luxury and lifestyle, and an affordable housing project in Perth to a premium Sydney retirement community helping older Australians age in place, residential design winners stood out for their commitment to smart design, affordability and sustainability.

Stockland’s Willowdale, a sustainable community located in Sydney’s booming south west corridor, was honoured with the EPM Projects Award for Best Master Planned Community. Featuring energy efficient homes in a quality, inclusive and connected neighbourhood, Willowdale is surrounded by 39 hectares of bushland creek corridors, recreational parks and cycle paths.

Observing that Willowdale’s innovative masterplan was designed for people at all stages of life, Property Council’s chief executive, Ken Morrison says that the development offered flexibility and choice in everything from housing size to land lots, medium density townhomes and accessible retirement living.

Melbourne boutique developer Piccolo won the coveted Crown Group Award for Best Residential Development for Elwood House, an apartment project that impressed the jury for “demonstrating how urban regeneration can deliver a real uplift in terms of amenity and aesthetics along our suburban streets”.

RLB’s Victorian managing director Ewen McDonald says that Elwood House offered security, privacy, amenity and flexibility with the same level of comfort and liveability found in larger homes.

LandCorp & Now Living won the Growthbuilt Award for Best Affordable Housing Development for Blackmore Park Estate. Located in Perth’s northern suburb of Girrawheen, Blackmore Park Estate was developed with the vision to inject new life and vitality into the area by delivering new affordable housing models and genuine choice for buyers, close to established retail centres, transport networks and recreational spaces, says Morrison.

He explained that the 72-lot residential community opened up new opportunities for home ownership in an established suburb dominated by ageing housing stock and a high proportion of renters.

Cranbrook Care won the Aurex Group Award for Best Retirement Living Development for the Bella Vista Gardens Aged Care and Cranbrook Residences Retirement Village – two premium co-located facilities in Castle Hill.

“Cranbrook Care’s architecturally-designed community offers the highest quality design and finishes, exceptional facilities and outstanding services. This carefully-considered development demonstrates how the property industry continues to innovate to offer older Australians all the comforts of home in a personalised and caring environment,” says Morrison.