As we say goodbye to February, we recap the top 10 stories covered during the month.

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.jpg1. Tesla ‘Hyperloop’ between Sydney and Melbourne a possibility

A proposal for a high-speed rail between Sydney and Melbourne has been endorsed by a bipartisan parliamentary committee and been put to the federal government for consideration. 

The committee, chaired by Member for Bennelong John Alexander, has recommended the federal government seeks proposals for a high-speed rail link between the two cities under a value capture model, Fairfax reports.

2.jpg2. Australia’s tallest and world’s largest engineered timber office building coming to Brisbane

Bates Smart continues its experiment with mass timber construction with a 52-metre engineered timber office tower in Brisbane. 

The tower, named 5 King, will be the tallest engineered timber building in Australia and the largest in the world on gross floor area calculations.

It follows the firm’s proposal for a hybrid Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)/steel and concrete tower in North Sydney, and demonstrates its intention to use MTC technology into the future.

3.jpg3. Ikea flat-pack refugee shelter beats BIG, trumps MAD to win global design award

A flat-pack refugee shelter, produced by the world’s largest furniture retailer has pipped an international field of architecture projects to win a prestigious global design award.

The ‘Better Shelter’ flat-pack housing unit, produced by Ikea and currently housing up to 120,000 displaced refugees in regions around the world, took out the Architecture award and the 2017 Grand Prize at the ninth annual Beazley Designs of the Year. 

4.jpg4. Sydney bungalow extension features asymmetrical gable with oversized dormers

A rear extension to a 1930s Californian Bungalow in Sydney’s North Shore delivers a new light-filled living and kitchen space under a simple shed-like structure. 

Faced with an extremely tight budget, Architect Prineas began with an asymmetrical gable extrusion from the existing cottage as it was economical to construct and easily manipulated to introduce light and garden views into the new spaces.


5.jpg5. Australia’s tallest tower approved in Melbourne, architects say we must get public realm element right

The first Melbourne project for UK-architecture firm Wilkinson Eyre has received a permit and is set to become Australia’s tallest tower.

The Victorian Government approved the $1.75 billion six-star hotel and apartment development to be situated near Crown Casino in Southbank following what it called a “careful and considered process”.


6.png6. New $650 million waterfront community planned for the Gold Coast

Queensland’s Hope Island could soon be home to a brand new $650 million master-planned community.

The bulk of civil works for the 50 hectare-plus Serenity Cove development are already underway or complete and the first release of residential land just went to market.

BDA Architecture director Peter Davenport and his team have been working on the masterplan and the sub sequential architecture of a number of components of the project.

7.jpg7. Former Cox director defends first major project at new firm

Michael Rayner is defending the design of his first major project at his new firm, Blight Rayner.

Rayner shocked the industry last August when he suddenly resigned from his post as founding director at Cox Rayner Architecture after 26 years at the helm to form a new firm with fellow Cox director, Jayson Blight.


8.jpg8. CSIRO scientific discovery could make solar panels cheaper

A scientific breakthrough with the world’s strongest material could have an impact on the cost of solar panels and other sustainable building technologies.

The CSIRO is reporting that it has discovered a way to make graphene, a carbon material used in applications ranging from miniaturise electronics to biomedical devices, more commercially viable by changing its production process.


9.jpg9. 6 projects utilising Accoya ‘acetylated timber’

Accoya Acetylated Wood is one building product we’re keeping an eye on this year.

Named as one of the top 10 green building products for 2017, the product is tipped to have a significant impact on the market in the coming years. 

While the product is available in Australia through Britton Timbers, M&B Building Products and Matthews Timber, it has not been used to the extent we’ve seen overseas. 

10.jpg10. Building a children’s hospice: Hummingbird House by ThomsonAdsett

Australian architects have a lot to boast about when it comes to healthcare design, with practices like Woods Bagot and Lyons pushing the boundaries of how hospitals should look, feel and work in recent years.

Children’s hospices, on the other hand, are a far rarer subject in the architecture discourse, especially when it seems only right to prioritise the recognition of a hospice’s primary function above its aesthetics and build.