Residential Architecture

Great architecture and home design improves neighbourhoods, expands the public realm, and can change our experience of entire neighbourhoods and cities.

This category seeks to award one standout residential architecture Project, completed between January 1st 2018 and April 14th 2019. At least one individual per Entry must hold professional accreditation as a registered architect. Ground-up builds, renovations and additions are all eligible within this category.



One winner in the Residential Architecture category will be awarded a $5000 cash prize. Up to two commendations will also be awarded.

Applications have been shortlisted by The Design Files team. Shortlisted entries will be assessed by three expert judges, on the following criteria :

Fulfilment of the client brief / project objective

Originality – something we haven’t seen before, something invented from scratch.

Visual Appeal – beauty, boldness, aesthetic appeal.

Craftsmanship – how well does this project integrate craftsmanship and demonstrate mastery of a craft?

Function – how well does this space deliver the desired functional outcomes?

Sustainability – how well does this project contribute to positive environmental outcomes, with specific consideration of local environmental impact, management and reduction of waste, water and energy consumption?

Visionary thinking – does this project push boundaries, does it achieve something bigger than the intended commercial outcomes?

Bonus points will be awarded to projects with pro bono or community focussed outcomes, and/or projects limited by an unusually tiny budget.

The Residential Architecture Award is sponsored by Brickworks
Austin Maynard Architects, Empire House

An inter-war style bungalow is updated with two small pavilions, where old and new are demarcated with white metal shingles against the historic red brick home. 

Residential Architecture
Edition Office, Hawthorn House

A bold design where the concrete shell and expansive glass windows provide an interplay between private and open living, in a home of both stability and lightness.

Residential Architecture

Sparkling with Italian flair, this home balances whimsy and practicality in a Medici inspired renovated of the tiny 4m wide block.

Residential Architecture
Archer Office, Camperdown Warehouse

A 1926 concrete factory is masterfully converted into a generous apartment for two, with room to accommodate guests and a home office. 

Residential Architecture
Olaver Architecture, House 1602

Working within a constrained terrace house floorplan, this home is transformed into a light-filled space for entertaining thanks to a sunken living room and expansive central void.

Residential Architecture
Edition Office, Point Lonsdale House

This generous design combines a series of outdoor living spaces and indoor resting spaces, informed by environmental cues from the coastal town where it is situated. 

Residential Architecture
Madeleine Blanchfield Architects, Crescent Head House

A one-bedroom weatherboard is transformed into an open and flowing home for a couple, where delineated zones are downplayed in favour of a unified space for living.

Residential Architecture
Vokes & Peters, Subiaco House

Designed around a set of contained, but interconnected rooms, this new home is situated around a generous courtyard to create a private, yet open, living space.

Residential Architecture
Hogg & Lamb, B&B Residence

A dilapidated Queenslander cottage has a sleek minimalist renovation to create a peaceful home of white arches and sharp lines.

Residential Architecture
Splinter Society Architecture, Cornerstone House

Rugged stonework sits against refined black steel cladding in this striking home that creates a gentle balance between dark/light, rugged/refined, art/architecture. 

Residential Architecture
Tribe Studio, House In Darlinghurst

A small electrical substation is transformed into a three-bedroom home with a rooftop terrace and swimming pool.

Residential Architecture
Sibling Architecture, Hello Houses

Inspired by the verandah culture of Port Fairy, this home is a site of big open spaces, natural light, and connectivity.

Residential Architecture
MRTN Architects, Dark Light House

This late 60s home is updated with a new pavilion for eating, living and cooking, continuing the Small Homes Service design spirit of the original residence. 

Residential Architecture
Partners Hill with Hogg & Lamb, Mermaid Multi House

Two-generations are catered for in Darlinghurst home, showing that multi-use dwellings can be beautiful, practical and sustainable.

Residential Architecture
Bligh Graham Architects, Harriet House

One of Brisbane’s iconic ‘timber and tin’ cottages undergoes a considered renovation that plays with asymmetry, form, material, soft edges and layered vertical gardens. 

Residential Architecture
Clare Cousins

Clare Cousins established her Melbourne practice, Clare Cousins Architects, in 2005. Engaged in projects large and small, the studio has a particular interest in housing and projects that nurture community. Clare is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and the current National President.

Graham Burrows

Graham Burrows is a celebrated architect with over 20 years’ experience in professional practice. He is one of the founding partners and directors of Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, formed in 1998. Graham has overseen the design and delivery of numerous projects in the residential, commercial, educational, hospitality and community sectors, including a number of award-winning commissions. Graham has been a jury member for the RAIA awards program three times, in the Commercial and Residential categories, as well as on the Dulux Colour Awards jury. He maintains an ongoing relationship with The University of Melbourne as a tutor and guest critic in Architectural Design.

Albert Mo

Albert Mo is a Director of Architects EAT based in Melbourne. EAT has developed both a reputation in residential and hospitality & retail projects, and recently has expanded into larger scale precinct planning and placemaking. He was a Chapter Councillor on the Victorian Chapter of the Institute of Architects, and maintains guest critic positions in various architecture school across Australia.