Judges at the Australian Institute of Architects’ Regional Architecture Awards named residential property, Las Palmas, winner of The Gabriel Poole Award for Building of the Year. The Noosa Heads property, designed by Tim Ditchfield Architects, was also awarded a regional commendation for residential architecture (Houses – New).

Inspired by a journey to Palm Springs and the spirit of mid-century modernism, the architects have taken full advantage of the beautiful location and natural surroundings in the property’s design. Las Palmas compromises a setback front fence which creates a neighbourhood common area. This inviting space enables visitors to appreciate a framed view of the water through a deliberate gap in the built form, anchored by a generous courtyard plan set deep within the site.

The built form is modernist, with strongly pronounced horizontal planes, simple forms and honest materiality. Externally the design employs a robust and timeless palette of in-situ concrete walls and roofs, minimalistic balustrading, feature breeze blocks, and honed concrete steps and terracing. The home owners said the design complements their love of water, fresh air & natural light. “From the moment we wake up or drive into our driveway, to the time we retire for the night our house frames our views and highlights an ever-changing canvas around us. It’s both functional and fictional”.

Upon entering the building, people are immediately engaged with the broader landscape context. The judges all agreed: “The building itself seems to lap at the water beyond”. Other Sunshine Coast regional commendation winners are, Residential Architecture (Multiple Housing) – Door42 – Push Architects and Residential Architecture (Multiple Housing) – Cooma Terrace – Open Architecture Studio and Jasper Brown, Architects in association.

All of the region’s awarded projects have now been shortlisted for the Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland Architecture Awards. The state awards were judged and awarded in June 2021.

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