A therapeutic centre for vulnerable children and their families and a nature-inspired house took out top honours at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2017 North Queensland Regional Architecture Awards. The ceremony was held in Cairns last week.

The ACT for Kids Child and Family Centre of Excellence by m3architecture received the J W Wilson Award for Building of the Year. The jury described the Centre as an ‘emblematically tough but tender collection of structures’ that ‘pivots around a grove of trees at the forested edge of the university campus’ and ‘choreographs a passage for children's healing.’

The North Queensland House of the Year Award went to Stuart Street House by Outcrop Architecture. The jury in particular commended the deference that the house paid to the landscape.

The jury commented: ‘A stair climb, living room inverted balcony, swimming pool and barbeque deck [...] offer indelible engagement of varying scale with the beauty of the panorama, while the colour palette respectfully complements the rugged hillscape.’

The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University by Jackson Architecture also received a Regional Commendation. The jury noted that the ‘clarity and legibility of the plan belies the technical complexity of this research facility and carefully controlled daylight floods deep into the plan of the laboratories.’

All three projects will now go on to compete for honours at the coveted Queensland State Architecture Awards, to be announced in Brisbane on 23 June.