The winners of the 2013 Houses Awards, an annual celebration of Australia's best residential designs, have been announced.

Queensland architect James Russell took home the program’s premier accolade, Australian House of the Year, for the Bisley Place House – a robust and innovative courtyard home that celebrates the ordinariness of its surrounds.

The project’s design was praised by the jury for succeeding in creating an opportunity where none seemingly existed, and rethinking the possibilities that architecture offers Australian suburbia.

“It does not repudiate the ‘Australian ugliness’ context, but relies on the quintessential ordinariness of the streetscape to enrich the experience.”

Bisley Place House also won the New House over 200m2 category.

Photography by Toby Scott

Awards in the House Alteration and Addition over 200m2 and Outdoor categories went to the Lilyfield Warehouse by Virginia Kerridge Architect. The jury praised the project’s use of outdoor spaces to create an urban oasis in a suburban context.

Photography by Michael Nicholson

The winner of the Apartment, Unit or Townhouse category is the Pyrmont Apartment by Boker Architecture + Interiors, which is a transformation of a 1982 wool store into a light-filled and flexible home, with existing structural elements exposed and accentuated.

Photography by Stuart Scott

“This year’s winners are a diverse mix of projects, but they demonstrate outstanding, inventive responses to both the client’s brief and site conditions,” says editor of HOUSES magazine Katelin Butler.

“Together, these projects hint at the exciting possibilities for residential design within Australia, while also speaking eloquently of the talent with our design community.”

The Houses Awards recognise outstanding residential design, both new houses and renovations, across eight categories. The winners of the 2013 Houses Awards were announced at a special presentation at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) at Federation Square on Thursday 25 July 2013.

Full list of winning projects:

Australian House of the Year

Bisley Place House by James Russell Architect (Qld)

New House under 200m2 (joint winners)

Merricks Beach House by Kennedy Nolan Architects (Vic)

Keperra House by A-CH (Qld)

New House over 200m2

Bisley Place House by James Russell Architect (Qld)

House alteration and addition under 200m2

Tír na nÓg by Drew Heath Architects (NSW)

House alteration and addition over 200m2

Lilyfield Warehouse by Virgina Kerridge Architect (NSW)

Apartment, Unit or Townhouse

Pyrmont Apartment by Bokor Architecture + Interiors (NSW)


East Melbourne House by Zoe Geyer Architect (Vic)


Lilyfield Warehouse by Virgina Kerridge Architect (NSW)


Mihaus Studio by Sue Harper Architects (NSW)