Professional building designers reaped the rewards for taking building design to the next level on Thursday night at the online Design Matters National 2020 Building Design Awards. View Awards here.

The prestigious Building Design of the Year award was taken out by Sven Maxa of Maxa Design, for Earth House, a stunning residential property in Donvale. Twenty-nine other Building Design Awards were announced, as well as seven Emerging Designer Student Awards. 

This year’s Awards were a showcase of Victorian building design talent in the market right now, as well as the talent emerging from our TAFEs. 

Design Matters National is well aware that Victoria is home to some tremendous building designers. The entries we received this year, and the winners of the various awards, are testimony to that.

Awards were given to homes in the metropolitan Melbourne suburbs of Brunswick, Coburg, Donvale, Heidelberg West, Ivanhoe, Ivanhoe East, Prahran, Richmond, Ringwood, Somerville, South Melbourne, Springvale, Surrey Hills, Werribee South, as well as the regional towns of Portarlington, Ocean Grove, Inverloch and Trentham. 

The quality of the entries showed the breadth of advantages to using a qualified building designer. Building design is all about combining aesthetics with great function and high levels of sustainability.

The winning entry exhibited great environmentally sustainable Passive House design, as well as being a house ‘you’d love to live in’. Earth House is an example of the growing demand in the Victorian market for more energy-efficient buildings. 

The project also won awards for Residential Design – New Houses: $1M-$3M construction cost; and Best Environmentally Sustainable Design.

Maxa Design, based in Blackburn, has been operating for more than 16 years, designing high-level eco and energy efficient homes.

See the full list of winning projects, including their designer, design company and project location, here.

2020 Design Matters National Building Design Award Winners

Emerging Designers - Student Awards
Excellence in Documentation – Holmesglen: Rocco Molluso
Best Digital Presentation – Joint winners: Box Hill: Michael Boer; Holmesglen: Carolina Osejo
Best Group Project – Zane Leist, Ramona Robinson, Brayden Tonkin: The Gordon
Best Response to a Design Brief (Building Design) – Holmesglen: Wayne Tindal
Best Response to a Design Brief (Interior Design) – Holmesglen: Ivona Nagel
Brian Morison Award – Holmesglen: Wayne Tindal

Materials Excellence
Excellence in use of Concrete – Neath House
Excellence in use of Glass – Allan House Brunswick
Excellence in use of Lightweight Materials – Black Swell
Excellence in use of Masonry – Boulevard House
Excellence in use of Recycled Materials – Do Shoes Come on Pallets? Yodgee Market Store 
Excellence in use of Metal – The Blue Moon

Commercial <$2M – Multifunction Garden Studio Space
Commercial >$2M – Killester College Performing Arts & Music Learning Facility 
Interior Design – Do Shoes Come on Pallets? Yodgee Market Store

Residential - Alterations & Additions
Up to $350k – Bird St Project
$350-$800k – The Snug
Over $800k – Oh Dear, Oh Deer

Residential - New House

Up to $500k – Somerville Residence
$500k-$1M – Owl Woods Passive House
$1M-$3M – Earth House
Over $3M – Undulating Cubes

Residential - Other 

Bathroom Design – Raw Reflection
Kitchen Design – Wyndham Beach House
Small Works Project – Concrete Collective
Special Project – Do Shoes Come on Pallets? Yodgee Market Store
Multi Residential
>$6M – 1 Nelson St, Ringwood
<$6M – Prahran Townhouses
Commendation: Ivanhoe Hybrid
Small Home – The Snug
Heritage Design – HMAS L02
Interior Design – Wyndham Beach House
Environmentally Sustainable Design – Earth House

Special Awards

James Hardie Australia Award – Prahran Townhouses
Past Presidents’ Award – Killester College Performing Arts & Music Learning Facility
Ronald Pickford Award – Matthew Graham 
Life Membership – Lindsay Douglas & Tim Adams 
Building Design of the Year – Earth House