If you're looking for home inspiration, the bible of Australian architecture has arrived. The Australian Institute of Architects has just released the fifth edition of 'Inspire,' their annual publication showcasing the winners of each year's prestigious AIA Chapter and National Architecture Awards. The latest addition, which follows the visual story of the properties which won awards in 2014, features 284 pages of preliminary sketches, quotes and photographs.
Residences featured include Oxlade Drive House by James Russell Architects, a Queensland home that won the National Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New) category and the people's choice award. Situated in a low lying area at the southern tip of New Farm peninsula in Brisbane, the house and courtyards are elevated in response to the risk of flooding from the Brisbane River both now and into the future (flooding occurred while the house was being built in 2010). Judges praised the architects' inventive use of shade cloth to provide sun shading and a protective barrier against insects while permitting breezes to pass through the house, calling this an "intelligent and sustainable response to living in the subtropics."
Other award winning residential projects included a house that sits in Hanging Rock’s shadow at Hesket in central Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects, and The Commons by Breathe Architecture, an affordable but sustainable housing development in Brunswick, Melbourne. AIA judges described The Commons, which has 24 apartments, two artist studios, a cafe and retail space, as a "refreshing new direction in medium-density living." The Commons has no air-conditioning and no car spaces. Instead, residents have 65 bike spaces located in a secure garage and can share the GoGet car parked directly out the front of the building. Judges stated that the development "revolutionises apartment living in Australia" by demonstrating how singles, young families and retirees alike can comfortably and sustainably live a rich life in our expanding cities.