As we reach the halfway mark of 2017, we take a look at the top 10 stories covered in June.

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. Melbourne home achieves sustainability with unorthodox methods

A Melbourne home designed by Bios Design Build Sustain has pushed the boundaries to achieve a 7.3-star energy rating. 

Working on a narrow site, the designers applied unconventional strategies. Together with a clever use of materials and technologies, they created the sustainable and sunlit ‘Joan 7.3’.

With a request from the client for ample floor space, a first floor was essential. To approach this, the upper level was situated at the front of the house, which avoided any privacy and shadowing issues – and created more space in the home.

2.jpg2. Architect announced for Australia’s largest education precinct

A few weeks ago, Hayball was announced as the architect for Australia’s largest-ever education precinct. The Footscray Learning Precinct (FLP) will be part of the Victorian government’s $2.5-billion investment in schools. All up, it will touch over 1,000 existing schools and create 56 new schools.

FLP will be home to several of these new schools, which will cover the full spectrum of education – from preschool through tertiary. Most notably, Footscray has been chosen as the location for a new Victoria University campus.

3.jpg3. $3-billion Brisbane wharf redevelopment to be the biggest in Queensland history

Bigger than Sydney’s Barangaroo project and the biggest single urban redevelopment in Queensland history, a once-forgotten part of Brisbane is about to get a major makeover.

Known as the Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Integrated Resort Development (QWBIRD) and destined for completion in 2024, this redevelopment will transform the Queensland capital’s CBD and riverfront.

The scale of the project includes a subtropical design, the reactivation of several heritage and riverside buildings, the construction of four interconnected walkways and a pedestrian bridge to South Bank. 

4.jpg4. Melbourne's $1-billion 'mini city' to be largest mixed-use development outside CBD

The Melbourne suburb of Clayton has been announced as the recipient of the largest mixed-use development the city has ever seen outside of the CBD.

Designed by Buchan Group, the $1-billion ‘M-City Monash’ will sit on a 35,000sqm site. Being called a ‘city-in-miniature’, the development will include a range of residential buildings, commercial offices, retail space, entertainment amenities and a hotel. The chosen site is a 20-minute walk away from Monash University; important, as the growing influx of international students to Monash University are particular targets for the new precinct.

5.jpg5. Construction of world’s tallest engineered timber office building starts in Brisbane

Construction has started on 25 King Street in Brisbane, the project that is set to become the tallest engineered timber office building in the world.

Designed by architect Bates Smart as part the $2.9-billion Brisbane Showgrounds redevelopment, the tower will reach nearly 45 metres (or nine storeys) in height. The design includes three bespoke ground-level retail tenancies built using cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam (glue-laminated timber) which has a structural strength akin to traditional concrete and steel.

6.jpg6. ‘Floating box’ design revealed for Sydney University museum

Last year, The University of Sydney started seeking expressions of interest from architectural practices who wished to build a new museum for their Camperdown campus. Design submissions were sought from “locally-based, internationally-recognised, world-class architects that specialised in adaptive re-use, gallery and museum design, heritage, contemporary learning spaces and civic place-making experience, on projects more than $20 million, to performance the role as principle design consultant.”

Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW) was the firm that emerged as the winner of the submissions process, beating out two other shortlisted practices: FJMT and Architectus. A site was chosen – adjacent to the Fisher Library, where the existing Fisher Tennis Centre on University Avenue sits. Then, JPW began their design for it.

7.jpg7. When architects play Tetris: Bougainvillea House and plan-based configuration

Technically, Luigi Rosselli’s most recent residential project – Bougainvillea House – is a renovation to an existing dwelling. Realistically, almost three quarters of the original structure – subsequently referred to as a “1950s two-storey ugly duckling of a house” by the architects – was demolished. In its place sits a tall, lean, three-storey home, designed for a film director and his young family.

It wasn’t so much the outdated design of the existing building that proved a challenge to the architectural firm, but rather the tight area constraints of the site, compounded by strict restrictions enforced by the local council. 

8.jpg8. Danish architects selected for Sydney Fish Market’s fresh home

The much-anticipated redesign for Sydney Fish Market now has a face attached to it. The NSW government confirmed yesterday that Danish architecture firm 3XN has won the tender process for the $250-million Blackwattle Bay project.

Last year, it was announced that the Sydney Fish Market would be relocated to a site around the corner from its current home at Blackwattle Bay. Still water-bound, the site selected for the new market backs onto Wentworth Park on the south side of the bay.

3XN were chosen for the new building after a rigorous tender process opened by the state government last year. 

9.jpg9. Foster + Partners reveal designs for Sydney’s tallest office tower

British-based international architecture firm Foster + Partners revealed designs for what is to be Sydney’s tallest office tower a couple of weeks ago. Circular Quay Tower, as the name suggests, will tower over Circular Quay from its home at 180 George Street.

Lendlease tapped Foster + Partners to design the new $1.5-billion office tower. Although it will be but one of a number of office towers set to reshape the city’s skyline in coming years, Circular Quay Tower is set to be Sydney’s tallest at the time of completion.

10.jpg10. Grenfell Tower fire stokes fear over Australian building standards

Following the deadly fire at London’s Grenfell Towers in the UK that has resulted in (so far) 58 known deaths, authorities across Australia are scrambling to identify any potential aluminium-clad high-rise death traps closer to home.

One area of attention over the past few days has been the city of Melbourne, where what is claimed to have been a similar type of fire at the Lacrosse apartment block back in November 2014 has now become a focal point for state and local government department investigators.

According to the Victorian minister for planning Richard Wynne, however, there is no need for concern.