Jury names best architectural projects in country NSW

Two stunning houses at opposite ends of the NSW coastline have tied for the title of best new home in this year’s prestigious Australian Institute of Architects’ NSW Country Division Awards.

The jury of industry experts led by Jury Chair Sarah Aldridge crowned Byron Bay home Carlyle Lane by Harley Graham Architects and Escarpment House by Takt in Thirroul on the South Coast joint winners of the Residential Architecture – Houses (New) category.

“The calm ease and warmth of the architecture belies the skill and hard work that make these spaces so elegantly resolved,” the jury said of the Carlyle Lane and described Escarpment House as “a treasure trove of innovative architectural ideas.”

Underscoring the very high calibre of this year’s entries, the jury also awarded the Small Projects category jointly to two projects on the Far North Coast, Hidden Studio by Harley Graham Architects and Possum Shoot Shed by DFJ Architects.

The same practice completed their trifecta of success in this year’s awards by also winning the Public and Commercial Building category for the Ballina Sea Rescue Tower and the Termimesh Timber Award for Bangalow Farm House, which the jury described as a “complete celebration of timber.”

Courtyard House by Davis Architects in Sydney’s inner west suburb of Lilyfield won the very competitive Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations & Additions) category for a home the jury described as “full of delight.”

A “meticulously restored and renewed’ 1920’s bungalow, Sampson House in Orange by Source Architects, won the Heritage category.

At the cutting-edge of innovative practice, The Joint by Joint Modular in Thirroul won both the Residential Architectur – Affordable Housing (under $350,000) category and the James Barnet Award for a project the jury felt was “exceptional on account of its ambition, method of delivery, social ethos and high level of design resolution.”

In addition to the winners, the jury also awarded six commendations. Cameron Anderson Architects’ “contemporary response to the traditional farmhouse” Lue Road Residence in Mudgee proved the most popular project with the public winning the People’s Choice Award.

NSW Chapter President, Andrew Nimmo, congratulated all of this year’s award winners and noted the important contribution the profession as a whole was making to deliver more sustainable, cohesive communities.

“Each year we see the bar raised when it comes to the innovative design solutions and practices architects are implementing across regional NSW.

“The awards provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase and recognise the skill and expertise our members apply to such a range of projects. Architects apply design thinking to everything they do in order to do more with less and help clients realise opportunities that they did not know existed.

“What they all have in common is a creative and professional approach for integrating the built environment with the natural surrounds in a robust and complementary way that best meets the needs of the client and maximises environmental performance.”

Full list of winning projects:


Winner – Sampson House, Orange, by Source Architects

Commendation – Bangalow Farmhouse, Bangalow, by DFJ Architects

James Barnet Award

Winner  The Joint, Thirroul, by Joint Modular

People’s Choice Award

Winner – Lue Road Residence, Mudgee, by Cameron Anderson Architects

Public and Commercial Architecture

Winner  Ballina Sea Rescue Tower, Ballina, by DFJ Architects

Commendation – iAccelerate Centre, North Wollongong, by ADM Architects

Commendation – Ocean Shores Soccer Club, Ocean Shores, by DFJ Architects

Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations & Additions)

Winner – Courtyard House, Lilyfield, by Davis Architects

Commendation – Sampson House, Orange, by Source Architects

Residential Architecture – Affordable Housing (under $350,000)

Winner – The Joint, Thirroul, by Joint Modular

Residential Architecture – Houses (New)

Winner (tied) – Carlyle Lane, Byron Bay, by Harley Graham Architects

Winner (tied) – Escarpment House, Thirroul, by Takt

Small Projects

Winner (tied) – Possum Shoot Shed, Possum Shoot, by DFJ Architects

Winner (tied) – Hidden Studio, Coopers Shoot, by Harley Graham Architects

Commendation – Green West House, Orange, by Source Architects

Termimesh Timber Award

Winner  Bangalow Farmhouse, Bangalow, by DFJ Architects

Vision Award

Commendation – Coffs Coast Wildlife Centre by Regional Architects


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