As we wrap up for the year, we look back at our top 10 stories in 2016.

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. Sydney architect petitioning to increase prosecution of 'fake' architects

In September, Robert Harwood, the director of Harwood Architects and founder of My Architect, took a stand and petitioned the Australian Institute of Architects CEO Jennifer Cunich to do more to protect the architecture profession from non-architects passing off their work and capability as that of an architect.

Harwood was particularly concerned with non-architects using the title ‘architect’ in their name or the words ‘architectural services’ in advertising.

2.jpg2. More vertical blades for UNSW as Grimshaw reveals second contribution to new precinct

Grimshaw revealed its design for the University of New South Wales’s (UNSW) new Science and Engineering Building (SEB) in October.

The SEB will be Grimshaw’s second contribution to UNSW’s Physical Sciences precinct at the Kensington Campus, following the completion of the Material Sciences and Engineering Building (MSEB) early last year.


3.jpg3. International competition to design ‘Trump wall’ between US and Mexico announced

While only Americans were permitted to vote in the US Presidential Elections, the weight of their results will be felt globally. In particular, residents of Mexico are particularly worried about the outcome of the election with the possibility of a continent-wide wall erected on their border with the US.

In a unique twist on the issue, a US art, architecture and design collective announced an international design competition in March to design Trump’s wall on the US southern border.

4.jpg4. Three new buildings proposed for massive Australian Technology Park project in Sydney

In January, it was announced that Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, Sissons, Woods Bagot & Davenport Campbell and COAP architects would make design contributions to the massive urban regeneration of the Australian Technology Park (ATP) in Sydney.

Mirvac Projects was announced by UrbanGrowth NSW as the successful party in securing ownership and redevelopment rights for the ATP precinct.


5-1.jpg5. Beauty and the Beast: FJMT wrap UTS’s brutalist landmark with curvaceous glass structure

The University of Technology Sydney continued its enthusiastic development of its City Campus at Broadway, lodging its sixth major Development Application (in May) in as many years for a new building and upgraded podium for the infamous UTS Tower.

Since 2009 UTS have been busy developing their City Campus according to a BVN masterplan to bring it up to their long term strategic vision ‘to be one of the world’s leading universities of technology’. Projects from Denton Corker Marshall Architects, PTW Architects, Aspect Studios, Durbach Block Jaggers with BVN, Hassell, and Draw Architects in association with Kann Finch Architects have since been completed or approved for development in and around the Broadway campus.

6.jpg6. Hassell answers critics and planning requirements with reconfigured Darling Harbour Ribbon

In January, we reported that one of the most polarising development proposals in recent Sydney history had undergone a pre-construction facelift that could appease the attitudes of at least some of its critics.

‘The Ribbon’ at Sydney’s Darling Harbour by Hassell architects was approved by planning back in July 2014 much to the dismay of some Architecture & Design readers. Hassell’s bold and sculptural design was conceived with the help of the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and was so called The Ribbon since its form emerged like ribbons from its urban context – the expressways, the Harbour, as well as surrounding public spaces. 

7.jpg7. Melbourne’s glut of non-compliant buildings growing; more found with flammable cladding

The list of Melbourne buildings found to have flammable cladding is growing as the Victorian Building Authority (VBA) continues its External Wall Cladding Audit of high-rise building permits in Melbourne.

In February, VBA was in the midst of auditing 170 high-rise building permits issued in the past 10 years for central Melbourne and its immediate surrounding suburbs, and had so far found 16 buildings with non-compliant cladding as a result.

8.jpg8. A guide for specifying green roofs in Australia

Green roofs are sprouting in popularity around the country and are used to create healthy, ecologically responsible buildings. They improve a building’s performance and support living vegetation on a flat or pitched surface.

Green roofs can extend the lifespan of a roof by protecting the waterproofing layer from weather and temperature changes. They can provide sound insulation, reduce the heating and cooling requirements and slow stormwater runoff, alleviate the urban heat island effects, capture gaseous and particulate pollutants and improve air quality. The structures can support local biodiversity, create a new open space for recreation, growing food and support the inhabitants’ physical and mental health.

9.jpg9. Has the age of prefab finally arrived?

Using prefabrication materials, or “prefab”, dramatically speeds up construction time, lowers material costs and increases quality assurance.

Prefab refers to any part of a building that has been assembled offsite in a factory or manufacturing facility and transported in complete or sub-assemblies to the construction site. It is a broad term and refers to a number of different systems or processes, including structural, architectural and services elements.


10.jpg10. “Build it small, build it smart” Breathe Architecture challenge architecture doctrine to deliver Prospect House in rural Victoria

Nestled in the foothills of a small rural Victorian mountain range sits an affordable, sustainable, and tranquil shelter, designed to embrace but also survive the elements.

Reminiscent of the vernacular country tin shed, Prospect House by Breathe Architecture is a rural experiment from the team that has brought us some of Melbourne City’s most celebrated projects.