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    Sydney apartment beats country's best detached dwellings to win 2016 House of the Year

    Nathan Johnson

    Architects have noticed the change, now awards programs are showcasing it – high-quality, architect-designed apartments are in high-demand.

    For the first time in Houses Awards history, an apartment project took out the program’s top honour, a timber-heavy luxurious Sydney apartment by Chenchow Little earning the title of House of the Year ahead of a strong field of 152 finalists.

    The win for Chenchow Little and its Darling Point Apartment adds to recent suggestions that more Australians are transitioning to apartment style living and seeking design solutions akin to detached dwellings in the process.  

    “That an apartment has been named Australian House of the Year reflects a shift in the way many Australians live today,” says the jury about Darling Point Apartment by Chenchow Little.

    “This project also demonstrates that an apartment can be designed with the same warmth and sophistication as a detached house.”

    Darling-Point-2-1.jpg

    Untitled-1.jpg
    “This apartment fit-out is designed for empty-nesters who wanted all the features of their original family home within a significantly smaller footprint,” says the architects.
    “The client's extensive artwork collection is innovatively displayed within flexible joinery, allowing the client a curatorial role with its display.”


    The win follows a string of recent apartment sale price records in Sydney and Melbourne, all of which were high-end and architect-designed penthouses. Most recently was a 281sqm three-bedroom apartment at Bower Street, Manly by Koichi Takada with interiors by Mim Design which sold for $9.5 million, the highest price paid for the suburb at $33,807 per sqm.

    “We’re seeing a change driven by owners of penthouse apartments and developers of multi-residential projects wanting the highest possible level of detail and the same attention you would give an individual house,” the project’s interior designer Miriam Fanning told The Australian.

    The project’s developer, Michael Fox, director of Costa Fox also noted that “with prices reaching $30,000 a square metre… a high-end customised finish is the new norm.”

    “[These buyers] want something stylish and customised with authentic finishes, top-quality stone, appliances, great location and a minimum of two car spaces. You see so many cookie-cutter apartments no one is really focused on the high end.”

    STRONG COMPETITION               

    Chenchow Little pipped a formidable field of detached dwellings on its way to winning the House of the Year accolade. It beat BVN’s uber-sustainable Project Zero alterations and additions project in Queensland, a Tobias Partners’ Bondi mansion and Kennedy Nolan’s Fairfield House which was designed in collaboration with Sam Cox Landscape.

    A breezeblock-skinned Queensland home designed by James Russell Architect won the New House under 200sqm category while Baffle House, a Clare Cousins Architects project took home the House Alteration and Addition under 200sqm prize.

    The full list of winners:

    AUSTRALIAN HOUSE OF THE YEAR

    Darling Point Apartment by Chenchow Little Darling-Point.jpg

    Photography by Peter Bennetts 


    NEW HOUSE UNDER 200SQM

    Naranga Avenue House by James Russell ArchitectNaranga.jpg

    Photography by Toby Scott 


    NEW HOUSE OVER 200SQM

    Deepwater by Tobias PartnersDeepwater.jpg

    Photography by Justin Alexander 


    HOUSE ALTERATION AND ADDITION UNDER 200SQM

    Baffle House by Clare Cousins ArchitectsBaffle.jpg

    Photography by Lisbeth Grosmann


    HOUSE ALTERATION AND ADDITION OVER 200SQM

    Project Zero by BVNProject-Zero.jpg

     Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones


    APARTMENT OR UNIT

    Darling Point Apartment by Chenchow Little

    Darling-Point-2.jpg
     Photography by Peter Bennetts 


    HOUSE IN A HERITAGE CONTEXT 

    Bayside Fire Station by Owen Architecture

    Bayside.jpg
    Photography by Christopher Frederick Jones


    OUTDOOR

    Fairfield House by Kennedy Nolan in collaboration with Sam Cox Landscape

    Fairfield-House.jpg
     Photography by Derek Swalwell


    SUSTAINABILITY

    Fairfield House by Kennedy Nolan in collaboration with Sam Cox Landscape


    EMERGING ARCHITECTURE PRACTICE

    Rob Kennon ArchitectsRob-Kennon.jpg


    Image: Clarence Houses by Rob Kennon Architects. Photography by Derek Swalwell

     

     

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