As we wrap up for the year, we look back at our top 10 stories in 2017.

From all of us here at Architecture & Design, we wish you a happy holiday break. We can’t wait to catch you up on what’s happened in the world of architecture and design when we return to the office on January 8.

1-1.jpg1. The pros and cons of permanent formwork systems for single dwelling wall construction

Permanent formwork systems have become an attractive alternative to conventional masonry block, precast concrete and in-situ building methods for both builders and designers in Australia, particularly in the multi-residential space.

Suppliers and manufacturers of the systems herald them as the next big thing in construction, promising quicker project turnarounds, reduced costs, and cleaner and safer construction sites.

2.jpg2. Australia by Design: the first-of-its-kind architecture show in Australia

These days, when we think of architecture on television, we mainly think of programs such as The Block, where the format runs similar to reality television. Either that, or hardcore architectural documentaries designed for those with a particular set of esoteric industry knowledge.

In July, Australia by Design hit the screens, created as a middle-ground between these two extremes of architectural viewing. Not only was it different by virtue of its ‘accessible’ yet expert approach to architecture, but as the first time government architecture has been shown on Australian television, it was also unprecedented in terms of its subject matter.

3.jpg3. Collaboration is key for Western Sydney Uni’s new Chancellery courtesy of AJ+C

Following on from last year’s library and administrative service building design, Western Sydney University again called upon the services of Allen Jack + Cottier, this time for the fit out of the school’s Chancellery.

The new fit out achieves a balance between being a high-end space that reflects the Chancellery’s pivotal role within the university and its growing presence in the international community, whilst providing accessibility in the form of a collaborative work environment.

4.jpg4. Zinc-clad addition to heritage dwelling with secret guttering

This addition to a heritage Edwardian dwelling in Melbourne is a recessive zinc-clad folded form, set within ‘the shadow’ of the existing white detailed brick structure. It was developed by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design through a series of folded computational models which explored the orientation of the site and how the new addition would integrate with the existing layout. The resolution is a highly custom building that reflects the client’s lifestyle while tactfully embracing the virtues of Edwardian architecture.

5.jpg5. The sliding door hardware architects use

Common to nearly all design briefs in Australia is the provision of flexible interior spaces that can be easily opened or closed to the outdoors depending on weather conditions. One of the most effective ways to achieve this flexibility is through the specification of sliding doors, and as you’ll see there is a healthy number of sliding door hardware suppliers in Australia available to help you on that quest.


6.jpg6. 2017 NSW Architecture Awards winners announced

A large number of projects were recognised at the 2017 NSW Architecture Awards in July.

From a shortlist of 88 projects, 66 awards and commendations were handed out for categories including commercial, educational, heritage, interior, public, residential and sustainable.

Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing was the largest category in the 2017 NSW program. From a strong field of 34 entries, the jury shortlisted 14 projects. A total of nine awards and commendations were bestowed in this category alone.

7.jpg7. The architect and child’s dream: new Sydney family centre features futuristic ‘pure play’ environment

A new family centre in Sydney officially opened its doors earlier in the year, showing Australia for the first time what a ‘pure play’ children’s space looks like.

Built around best practices for early childhood education through the lens of play, exploration and connection, NUBO steers away from the typical clichés of bright colours, plastic toys and computer screens. Instead, the centre looks more like a Scandinavian home or a tech company’s headquarters, with clean and considered spaces that feel almost clinical. 

8.jpg8. A breezy alteration to a century-old heritage-listed home

When an architect performs an alteration or addition to a heritage-listed home, there is often an unspoken – and even more often, a spoken – expectation that the modern design demurs to the look, feel and fabric of the existing building.

When Dalecki Design undertook an addition to the century-old Perth home known as The Wasley, they weren’t quite so demure. The extension to the heritage-listed home – which saw the addition of a bedroom and a renewed focus on entertainment spaces – is a bold departure from the old style. And yet, it is at pains to retain a sense of cohesion and sensitivity.

9.jpg9. Architect responds deftly to video imploring consumers bypass architects in custom home construction

Earlier in the year, a YouTube video from a marketing agency representing builders caused a stir in architecture circles.

‘Why you shouldn’t use an architect to design your new home’ is the latest in a series of videos from the Association of Professional Builders that was uploaded to its YouTube channel on 12 March.

The video is presented by Co-Founder of APB, Sky Stevens and offers guidance to viewers who may be considering building a new custom home about what professional help they should hire.

10.jpg10. Australia’s first cross-laminated timber office built in only a year

In the first half of 2017, Australia’s first engineered timber office building opened its doors at Sydney’s Barangaroo, just one year after construction began on site.

Developed by Lendlease as the ‘front door’ to Barangaroo South, International House Sydney is built entirely of the industry’s ‘rising stars’ – Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glue-Laminated Timber (Glulam).

Project architects at Sydney practice Tzannes say the design and construction of the building, as well as the choice of building materials, were born from a big picture and first principles analysis – the project’s siting in the masterplan meant it had to demonstrate leadership in environmentally sustainable design and foster wellbeing for users.