A medium density residential project on the Gold Coast that provides affordable housing for families, couples, students and seniors, was recently awarded top honours in the Australian Institute of Architects ’ 2011 Gold Coast/Northern Rivers Queensland Regional Architecture Awards.

Malcolm Middleton, Queensland Awards Jury Director, announced that the Sphere Residential Community at Southport by architectural practice BDA Architecture was awarded this year’s coveted Building of the Year Award. The Cabarita Beach House at Bogangar by Owen and Vokes was awarded the 2011 House of the Year Award.

Mr Middleton said the jury agreed: “Sphere demonstrates the attributes of higher density, low to medium rise master-planned development with considered community form and landscape amenity. The progressive build-out of the project experiments with more sustainable project initiatives, with the last stage introducing a fully trafficable green roof producing measurable energy reductions. The community is responding positively to the calibre of the streets and laneways established in the overall master plan, and which will connect to the large employment nodes of the university and hospital nearby. The body corporate structure is embracing a mix of student and permanent residents in a positive manner.”

BER multi-purpose halls and university facilities, and spectacular private houses and modestly budgeted homes from Suffolk Park in northern NSW to Mount Tamborine and South Stradbroke Island were amongst 26 new architectural projects that competed for top honours at the awards. Of these 26 projects, 8 received regional commendations at a ceremony at the Gold Coast City Gallery.