1. Home
  2.  | 
  3. Articles
  4.  | The 2019 Building Design Awards
Image Credit: Revell Landscaping

The 2019 Building Design Awards


Design Matters, formerly the Building Designers Association of Victoria, is an industry body which acts for building design professionals and celebrates excellence in building design. On the evening of July 27th, building designers from across the state gathered at the coveted Building Design Awards, now in its 24th year, to recognise the talents and expertise of their peers within the industry. Much like the previous year, the judges were impressed with the high standard of entries, some of which can be found on the following pages, including the outstanding project Moat’s Corner by Vibe Design Group – which won the esteemed Building Design of the Year award.

Moat’s Corner

A benchmark for quality residential design, Moat’s Corner is a mid-century modernist inspired home, encompassing honesty to materials, structural innovation and minimal ornamentation.

Moat’s Corner draws on an inspired vision and a commitment to an established setting, refined to a point of tranquil precision, forming an interactive haven with which to experience the life and energy that surrounds it. The sites layered history began with a pioneering family, after whom Moat’s Corner was named. A gnarled cypress lined driveway is a historic cue to the first settlers on this rural property within the coastal town on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula. Next came almost 70 years of gardeners cultivating and collecting, resulting in a rambling and diverse array of flora across five acres of the 53-acre stretch.
Entering a new phase, the property responds to the integrity of its setting. The owners’ commitment to create a home over the existing footprint set the tone for the design challenge. The elevated main level of the home observes the immediate gardens from a habitual perspective. 

Mid-canopy height, the glazed walls completely soak up the greenery that surrounds them. A deep, continual eave line both shields from a hot summer glare and embraces the warming winter glow. The northern length of the building is realised from the main living through to the main wing and back, with a sliding doorway the only possible disruption.
The west wall and entry elevation is one of protection, intrigue and interaction. From the outside – insulated black panels were spaced to a dual-glass cladding guard for weather protection. However, they are more appreciated at a sensory level, where on approach they completely fill with the reflected silhouette of the established west gardens. From within – the panels take the form of bookshelves in the bedroom wing and recessed and raised benchtop storage space in the kitchen. They are framed with deep-set glass above, below and between, ensuring nature’s moments are never missed. Raw, galvanised steel appears as an offset frame to the intermittent reflective panels, while floor and roof structures adhere to the depth tolerances that the steel members prescribe.

 A natural stackstone finish is the grounding element below a completely cantilevered bedroom wing, projecting the roots of the design inspiration. The elevated band provides a look through to the poolside landscaping, allowing vegetation to nestle gently under and around with minimal disturbance.
Moat’s Corner is as functional as it is observational. Perched respectfully, its modernist-inspired style opens itself up to the garden at every opportunity, equally important and equally celebrated. There is not a space within the home deemed principal or secondary that does not acknowledge the life that surrounds it, reflecting nature’s mood.
Moat’s Corner is also the winner for Residential Design – New House over $3 million Construction Cost.

Acknowledgements – Designer: Vibe Design Group www.vibedesign.com.au | Builder: Icon Synergy | Structural Engineer: NSIENT Consulting Engineers | Building Surveyor: Nepean Building Permits | Photographer: Jack Lovel

Corner Store by Maison Co

Residential Design – Alterations and Additions

The historical façade of an old corner store hides an exemplary, contemporary, adequately proportioned home for the current era.

Amanda Lynn Interior Design and Maison Co retained the history and quirkiness of the Corner Store while introducing appropriate light and ventilation. Working with tight site restraints, an extension to the original building at ground level was created just inside the brick walls. Three storage rooms were turned into a large living, dining and kitchen area.

In a stroke of genius, a courtyard installed in the centre of the long, narrow home brings in much needed light and a secondary living area. Making good use of the sunny courtyard, the fruit trees and herbs produce a bountiful pantry for the residents and clearly showcases what can be achieved on a small lot with thoughtful design.
Corner Store also received a commendation for Residential Design – Best Small Lot.

Acknowledgements – Designer: Maison Co www.maisonco.com.au | Builder: Unique Homes | Interior Designer: Amanda Lynn Interior Design | Photographer: Martina Gemmola

Firewood And Candles by Rachcoff Vella Architecture Pty Ltd

Residential Design – Restorations

Firewood and Candles is the sort of project that many would see as a complete rebuild but Rachcoff Vella Architecture’s clients saw its potential beauty.

Keeping the shell of the former dairy shed mostly untouched to preserve the character and charm of the building’s previous use, the interior has been revitalised with a combination of raw materials and soft furnishings. A custom-built fireplace provides light and warmth, in addition to the strategic pruning of the surrounding canopy, which allows sunlight to filter through the clerestory windows.

The home responds to, and is beautifully grounded within, its surroundings. Sustainability challenges in terms of heat retention and airtightness were addressed with the insertion of floor, wall and roof insulation. Firewood and Candles’ restoration beautifully respects the authenticity, charm, history and character of the original building.
Firewood and Candles is also a joint winner for Residential Design – Interior.

Acknowledgements – Designer: Rachoff Vella Architecture www.rachcoffvella.com.au | Builder: Koorool Construction | Interior Designer: Rachcoff Vella Architecture Pty Ltd | Landscape Designer: Nielsen’s Nursery | Photographer: Tatjana Plitt

Beaumaris Residence by STUDIOMINT

Joint Winner – Residential Design, Interior

In a world of neutral and minimalistic design, the Beaumaris Residence is a refreshing change of pace with its bold artworks, intricate detailing and bright colours.

Taking the time to get to know its clients, STUDIOMINT has created a home that beautifully reflects its owners’ personalities. Walking up to the entrance, residents and visitors are greeted by a bright purple door which sets the tone.

Inside the home, a beautiful feature wall made from sustainably-sourced natural timber draws you in, creating a warm and inviting entry.  Bringing St Kilda’s hip vibe to Beaumaris was paramount, and was achieved with a large graffiti feature wall near the pool and contemporary artwork on sliding doors. Beaumaris Residence proves excitement and fun can be used skillfully to provide a much desired and aesthetically pleasing design.

Acknowledgements – Designer: STUDIOMINT www.studiomint.com.au | Interior Designer: Alla DeLion, Harry Nguyen | Photographer: Rachael Dere


Building Design of the Year 2019
Vibe Design Group for Moat’s Corner

Residential Design – New House – $300K-$600K Construction Cost
Beaumont Concepts for Backbeach Project

Residential Design – New House – $600K-$1M Construction Cost
GLOW Design Group for Village House

Residential Design – New House – $1M-$3M Construction Cost
Winner: Melbourne Design Studios (MDS) for Biophilia
– Slate House Northcote
Commendation: Maxa Design for Heathmont Passive House

Residential Design – New House – over $3M Construction Cost
Vibe Design Group for Moat’s Corner

Residential Design – Best Environmentally Sustainable
Melbourne Design Studios (MDS) For Biophilia – Slate House Northcote

Residential Design – Multi-Residential
Holman Designs Pty Ltd for Same But Different

Residential Design – Best Small Lot
Winner: Drake Design for Elwood Residence
Commendation: Maison Co for Corner Store

Residential Design – Alterations & Additions
– up to $250K Construction Cost
Sync Design for Hope Street

Residential Design – Alterations & Additions
– $250K-$500K Construction Cost
Maison Co for Corner Store

Residential Design – Alterations & Additions
– $500K-$1M Construction Cost
Sketch Building Design Pty Ltd for Project Armadale

Residential Design – Alterations & Additions
– Over $1M Construction Cost
Peter Jackson Design P/L for Kilburn

Residential Design – Restoration
Rachcoff Vella Architecture Pty Ltd for Firewood And Candles

Residential Design – Heritage
Another Dimension Building Design for Kirrewur Court
Restoration & Additions

Residential Design – Interior
Joint Winner: Rachcoff Vella Architecture Pty Ltd for
Firewood And Candles
Joint Winner: STUDIOMINT for Beaumaris Residence

Non-Residential Design – Alterations & Additions
JJC Design for Traralgon Bowls Club – Indoor Bowls Centre

Non-Residential Design – New Project
Crosier Scott Architects for Holmesglen Student Hub & Learning Commons

Non-Residential Design – Interior
Winner: STUDIOMINT for Yamaha Music Australia
Commendation: STUDIOMINT for CIVILEX

Excellence In Use Of Glass
Nagydesign for Urban Oasis

Excellence In Use Of Lightweight Materials
GLOW Design Group for Village House

Excellence In Use Of Masonry
Melbourne Design Studios (MDS) for Biophilia – Slate House Northcote

Excellence In Use Of Recycled Materials
Woodend Building Design for Kyneton Red Brick House

Excellence In Use Of Metal
Project Now for Westlab

Excellence In Use Of Timber
Project Now for Aspect Parade

Excellence In Documentation
Green Sheep Collective for Magnolia Soul

James Hardie Award
GLOW Design Group for Village House

Most Innovative Design – Bathroom
Design Unity for Villa Essence

Most Innovative Design – Kitchen
Sketch Building Design Pty Ltd
for Project Armadale