We believe that good design can make the world a more interesting place. At its very best, it can also make life a little simpler.
The 2014 Australian Interior Design Excellence Awards recently put the spotlight on some of the most innovative designs in the country, recognising some brilliant and sustainable ideas. Here are some of our favourites!
Meeting a need
The sustainability award went to Melbourne’s Breathe Architecture for their design of The Commons, a 24-apartment eco development in Brunswick.
The Commons is located very close to public transport, reducing the need to drive
Creating more with less, The Commons is about giving people what they need. Instead of car parking, the building provides racks for 72 bikes and an adjacent car share space. There is no air-conditioning, no second bathrooms and no individual laundries – the building has a communal rooftop laundry and sheltered drying area instead.
The building includes rooftop vegie patches and each apartment has cross ventilation and wonderful natural light throughout. It’s a smart design with a light footprint.
Rooftop gardens promote community & sustainable living
Balconies create a connection to the outdoors and provide space for private gardens
Easy on the energy
The single residential design winner was Kennedy Nolan for their St Kilda West House. The brief was for a design that could accommodate a family on a sloping site and to minimise energy use through passive solar design.
The home accommodates a family on a narrow, sloping site
Natural light is a key feature throughout
The clients also wanted the architecture to reflect their time living in parts of Asia. Kennedy Nolan avoided obvious representations of Asia, instead opting for subtle connections like a minimal palette of colour, texture and form. Thermally efficient building materials and onsite water storage also bring a strong environmental focus to the house.
A minimal palette of colour and texture create a subtle reference to Asia
Oasis of calm
Aesop stores are known for incorporating the texture and warmth of wood into their designs. The new Aesop store in Melbourne’s Emporium was designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects and features spotted gum timber, a sustainably sourced hardwood ply, which complements the product and helps to create a sense of calm throughout the store. This simple, elegant design was the worthy retail design winner for 2014.
The sustainably sourced hardwood ply creates a beautiful sense of warmth
The timber hues complement the range of products perfectly whilst still making them the hero of the space.
The Commons photography by Andrew Wuttke, West St Kilda House and Aesop photography by Derek Swalwell