Sydney-based architect, Rana Abboud won the inaugural Cemintel 9 Dots Award for her innovative design featuring Cemintel Designer Series and BareStone panels.
Ms Abboud’s design, the ‘9 Dot House’ is based on the original nine dot puzzle, which makes observers imagine a perceived boundary around the dots. Set in regional NSW, Ms Abboud’s design is a holiday house, drawing inspiration from a natural setting of eucalyptus trees and underpinned by nine tree-like columns, with a playful suggestion of the tree-house in the walkways to the upstairs bedrooms and the grandeur of the double height spaces.
Cemintel General Manager, Drew Spiden said Ms Abboud’s outstanding entry was a clear winner as it not only created a great looking building but also highlighted non-traditional use of Cemintel products such as BareStone in adjustable shading and screening.
According to Ms Abboud, while the original nine dots prevented users from thinking outside the box when the solution lay beyond, the scattered dots of the ‘9 Dots House’ suggest a free-form enclosure with the house plan still retaining orthogonal boundaries.
The judging panel, consisting of Melonie Bayl-Smith, Director of liquid ARCHITECTURE and RAIA Adjunct Professor, Malcolm Carver, Architect and former Principal of Scott Carver Architects, Kim Chadwick and Lucy Sutherland, Managing Directors of Colourways, was high in its praise of Ms Abboud’s design.
According to the judges, the design exhibited an excellent engagement with the range of Cemintel products, and creatively interpreted their potential through extended conceptual framework of the ‘nine dots’, evident in the plan, section and structural expression. They specifically pointed out the use of the Cemintel product range beyond merely cladding purposes with the design suggesting an external wall construction that allows the product to appear as a solid form.
The judges also noted that the spatial qualities evoked by the design were such that the interior spaces displayed close visual connection to the exterior of the dwelling, thereby referencing the Cemintel products from all vantage points. The judges also made particular observations regarding the practicalities of the design.
Ms Abboud said Cemintel products provided a rich palette of textures and colours that complemented the hues of eucalyptus leaves and bark outside; Woodgrain ‘Maple’ panels were used externally to visually blend the house into its surroundings.
Ms Abboud incorporated CNC-milled BareStone panels to provide adjustable shading and privacy screening to the north whilst the Designer Series i-cube ‘Onyx’ panels were reconfigured as shutters to the upstairs bedrooms and to provide feature panelling to the kitchen bench downstairs. Very importantly, Cemintel products provided non-combustible, low-maintenance exteriors befitting a holiday house in a setting prone to bushfire.
Ms Abboud won a 17-day architectural study tour of Europe across seven cities with award-winning Australian architect, Malcolm Carver valued at $13,000.
Andreas Hahn won the second prize of a new MacBook Air valued at $1,300 for his design of ‘The Yarra House’, which featured Cemintel products including the Designer Series textured sandstone panels in the double storey lounge room, and Woodgrain oak panels in the master bedroom, blending with the traditional texture of the panels and surrounding bushland.

The Cemintel 9 Dots Awards are given out by Cemintel Fibre Cement Systems .