The winning projects from the 2014 Master Builders and Cbus Excellence in Building Awards have been announced with buildings designed by Fender Katsalidis Mirams architects (FKM) and Architects Ring and Associates (ARAA) taking top honours.

The FKM designed Garangula Gallery in Harden, was awarded with both the Project of the Year and a Commercial Buildings category prize, and was celebrated by the Judges for its collaborative vision and historical reference.

"The product of the collaborative vision of decorated Canberra builders, world renowned Australian architects and the owner, the excellence of the Garangula Gallery is as compelling as its narrative,” said John Miller, Executive Director of Master Builders ACT said.

Sited in outback NSW, Garangula Gallery was built by Manteena Constructions and houses an extensive collection of Aboriginal art.

In reference to the Aboriginal works, the building tells a story through use of recycled materials and those sourced from site. Rammed earth and stone walls, a recycled timber bridge, reflective pools, operable weathered steel screens and a sculpture courtyard are all design features of the project.

The building’s water is supplied by both supply and recycling dams that are flow limited and contribute to the buildings sustainability rating. LED lighting and Low VOC paints top off the sustainability elements of the build.

“The result is a gallery which is most striking when first viewed against its natural landscape and continues to impress, even after detailed study,” the judges said.

The House of the Year Award went to a Papas Property Group, ARAA and Archertec Interiors collaboration in Forrest, Canberra.

The living space is delivered across two separate wings that are footed on a narrow, lighting and ventilation-conscious floor plate. The ‘formal wing’ houses the kitchen and family room and its design benefits eastern and northern sun for great solar gains all day throughout winter, whilst encouraging shading in summer.

Miller explains that the narrow footprint of the Forrest house also benefits natural cross ventilation and creates connectivity between living spaces.

“Full advantage is taken of the solar gains from the site, and the narrow footprint allows for natural cross ventilation. The judges were impressed with both the connectivity and flow between the dining room, kitchen and family room,” Miller explains.

The judges also applauded the quality of materials used throughout the Forrest house which included Alucobond cladding, stone feature walls, glazing, double glazed windows and high quality paint.

“Precise attention to detail and the highly finished product are directly attributable to the passion and dedication of all involved,” cited the judges.

The awards were held 27 June at the National Convention and Exhibition Centre, Canberra and were hosted by Grand Design Australia's Peter Maddison.

Other Awards:

  • Supplier of the Year, Skyhire
  • Project Manager of the Year, Ross Greenup, Shaw Building Group
  • Subcontractor of the Year, J & J Interiors
  • Emerging Residential Builder of the Year, Steve Pinto, Pinto Homes
  • Emerging Commercial Builder of the Year, Ivan Potrebica, Acclaim Contractor

Garangula Gallery: John Gollings
Forrest House: Canberra Times.