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ADR’s top 10 Australian homes of 2020

ADR’s top 10 Australian homes of 2020


2020 was not just the start of a new decade. It was also a year unlike any other. With that in mind, ADR editor Elisa Scarton looks back at the Aussie homes that made an impact in this ‘new normal’.

Photo: Justin Alexander.

GB House, Sydney – Renato d’Ettorre

Excavating below the driveway and garage, Renato d’Ettorre Architects enhanced the beauty of the sandstone rock face that makes up one wall of GB House on Sydney’s Gordon Bay.

The wall is part of a subterranean music room and cellar in the seaside family home, which took out a host of awards last year including the IDEA Residential Single trophy.

Read more about GB House.

Photo: Peter Bennetts.

Glebe House, Sydney – Chenchow Little

Chenchow Little created three-dimensional internal voids with expansive arched windows in this family home in the inner Sydney suburb of Glebe.

The Sydney studio demolished the existing dilapidated cottage on the site and replaced it with a compact two-storey dwelling with four bedrooms.

Read more about Glebe House.

Photo: Caitlin Mills.

Ocean House, Melbourne – Rob Mills Architects

In designing Ocean House, Rob Mills set out to live “between the forest and the sea” and actively escape the “manmade environment” that surrounds us.

The Melbourne architect built his vacation home on a prohibitively steep site, combining the solidity of a cylindrical concrete sleeping space with the lightness and transparency of a rectangular floor-to-ceiling glazed living space.

Read more about Ocean House.

Photo: Tom Ross.

Edgars Creek House, Melbourne – Breathe Architecture

Edgars Creek house is emblematic of Breathe Architecture’s respect for Australia’s native landscape. 

Nestled into the banks of Edgars Creek, with outlooks of sandstone cliffs and ironbark trees, it’s designed to connect its residents to the land, the weather and the seasons.

It also happens to be shortlisted for the IDEA 2020 Residential Single award. See who else made the shortlist and celebrate along with us the IDEA Gala in Melbourne on 19 February 2021. Tickets on sale now!

Read more about Edgars Creek House.

Photo: Rory Gardiner.

Two Sheds, Melbourne – DREAMER with Roger Nelson

Melbourne architect Roger Nelson teamed up with industry newcomer Ben Shields of DREAMER to design his eucalypt-scented new home in the Victorian countryside.

Originally appointed as an interior designer, Shields took the helm on Two Sheds – his first project as lead architect – and significantly reduced the footprint of the house from 700 to 220 square metres.

Read more about Two Sheds.

Photo: Douglas Mark Black.

RZB House, Perth – Carrier and Postmus Architects

Located adjacent Perth’s Jualbup Lake, Red Zephyr Blue (RZB) house was crafted by Carrier and Postmus Architects for an avid music lover and a talented artist.

Connecting with the naturalist endemic landscape and native flora and fauna, the architects considered the growing garden as part of the build, but designed to be low maintenance, so the retired couple would not have to worry about the upkeep.

Read more about RZB House.

Photo: Robert Walsh.

Bendalong Beach House, Sydney – Madeleine Blanchfield Architects

Madeleine Blanchfield created a “raw, honest and simple” beach house for her retired parents in the south Sydney coastal town of Bendalong.

Drawing from the area’s “easy-going” holiday shacks and working to a “relatively low budget”, Blanchfield’s eponymous practice designed the home to accommodate visiting family and friends.

For this and a handful of other incredible projects, Blanchfield has been shortlisted for the IDEA 2020 Designer of the Year, joining Flack Studio, Biasol, GOLDEN, Carter Williamson, COX Architecture and Studio Bright in the running for the year’s top prize.

Read more about Bendalong Beach House.

Photo: Eleanor Byrne.

Love Street, Brisbane – Anna Spiro Designs

With unfaltering attention to minute detail, this Brisbane interior is furnished with long-adored pieces and passionate bursts of colour in the classic style of IDEA 2020 judge and interior design darling Anna Spiro.

These are rooms that make you smile, interiors that brim with joy, enthusiasm and vitality. The location of this Queensland home is poetic: it sits in the sunny Northgate address of Love Street, and there is much to love here.

Read more about Love Street.

Photo: Rory Gardiner.

Ruckers Hills House, Melbourne – Studio Bright

Studio Bright restored and enlarged a prominent corner-sited Edwardian home in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote to include a nod to Ancient Rome.

Ruckers Hills house won the 2020 Victorian Architecture Awards – Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) prize and includes a commissioned stained glass artwork by Nadine Keegan that inscribes the histories of the site and recognises the area’s traditional owners, the Wurundjeri people.

Read more about Ruckers Hills House.

Photo: Anjie Blair.

Symmons Plains, Hobart – Cumulus Studio

Cumulus Studio overhauled a 200-year-old Tasmanian mansion with characteristic comprehension and consideration, and a little dash of Japanese shou sugi ban.

It is no small feat to take on one of these properties, as this kind of project brings with it robust negotiations with Heritage authorities and a tremendous requirement for restoration.

Read more about Symmons Plains.

Lead Photo: Symmons Plains, Anjie Blair


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