OurHouseWandal was awarded dual accolades at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Regional Architecture Awards on Friday. Picture: Scott Burrows
OurHouseWandal was awarded dual accolades at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Regional Architecture Awards on Friday. Picture: Scott Burrows

Sustainable low-budget house wins dual accolades

The designers behind a sustainable low-budget family house in Rockhampton are celebrating this evening after taking home dual accolades at a prestigious awards ceremony.

OurHouseWandal, designed by Design+Architecture and N Veenstra, was awarded the Central Queensland House of the Year Award and a regional commendation for residential architecture (Houses - New) at the Australian Institute of Architects' Regional Architecture Awards on Friday.

Design+Architecture is a Rockhampton-based architecture and design firm that is behind the recent works at Mount Archer, Cocobrew Express, PennyCove, Emu Park Surf Lifesaving Club, The Mill Gallery Exhibition Building, and more.

The slightly elevated two-storey house in Wandal was designed with "sustainability, low maintenance and natural ventilation" in mind.

Director and senior architect at Design+Architecture, Colin Strydom, said the project started after severe tropical cyclone Marcia devastated the region in early 2015.

Mr Strydom said the previous house was demolished after the cyclone, with a young family from Rockhampton purchasing the vacant block as soon as it hit the market.

OurHouseWandal was awarded the Central Queensland House of the Year Award and a regional commendation for residential architecture (Houses – New). Picture: Scott Burrows
OurHouseWandal was awarded the Central Queensland House of the Year Award and a regional commendation for residential architecture (Houses – New). Picture: Scott Burrows

"It is a stone throw away from Rockhampton Hospital," he said.

"The wife of the family works at the hospital, so they were very keen to build and live on the site."

He said the client, who worked as an engineer, was highly involved in the project, and had a large impact on the design.

He said the family, who had travelled extensively and fallen in love with the great outdoors, wanted their first home to feel connected to nature and maximise the use of natural light and ventilation.

"The client spent a lot of time in nature and wanted to bring that into the site," he said.

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"Even though it is in a well-established Rockhampton suburb, they wanted it to have a natural, rural feel, so the design is based on that."

He said environmental sustainability was a key component of the project, as requested by the clients.

The house was elevated to minimise its environmental impact and provided maximum ventilation and orientated to take advantage of the natural light and cross breezes the location afforded.

It boasted open plan living spaces with large floor-to-ceiling, windows and doors, combined with large overhanging eaves that helped to minimise its reliance on artificial heating and cooling.

Situated on a long arrow block, it also boasted uninterrupted views of the expansive backyard and beyond.

OurHouseWandal was designed by Design+Architecture and N Veenstra. Picture: Scott Burrows
OurHouseWandal was designed by Design+Architecture and N Veenstra. Picture: Scott Burrows

 

Built by Acute Builders and completed in 2020, Mr Strydom said the project was low-budget and used low cost, sustainable materials such as zinc cladding on the exterior walls to reduce the home's environmental footprint and minimise ongoing maintenance requirements.

He said it was a unique house for Rockhampton and a good example of a quality home built on a low-budget.

"People think you have to throw money at sustainable houses, we are trying to show you don't have to do that," he said.

"You don't have to spend a lot to get a good outcome.

"You just need to think about it differently, you need to change your approach and have the right people on the project."

The Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton has been recognised at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Regional Architecture Awards. Picture: Christopher Frederick Jones
The Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton has been recognised at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Regional Architecture Awards. Picture: Christopher Frederick Jones

Other Central Queensland award winners included Winton's Waltzing Matilda Centre, designed by COX Architecture, which was awarded the J W Wilson Award for Building of the Year, along with a regional commendation for public architecture.

Longreach's Qantas Founders Museum - Airpark Project, designed by The NRA Collaborative Pty Ltd, was awarded a regional commendation for public architecture.

Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach. Picture: John Elliot
Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach. Picture: John Elliot

All the region's awarded projects have been short-listed for the Australian Institute of Architects' Queensland Architecture Awards.

The state awards are to be judged and awarded in June 2021.



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