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Vardo Hut Cubby by Doherty Design Studio

TIME TO READ: 2m 45s

To be shortlisted in the annual Houses Awards is an impressive accomplishment as each year the calibre of Australian residential projects reaches new heights.

There are six primary categories of the Houses Awards including ‘outdoor’, which showcases the design of any private external space of a home.  This year, nine projects have made it to the shortlist.  From a contemporary cubby house to a native garden by the river’s edge; the projects are diverse, each capturing an essence of how we live and play outdoors.

Here are the nine ‘outdoor’ projects that made the cut in the 2016 Houses Awards shortlist.

‘THAT House’ by Austin Maynard Architects

Houses Awards
THAT House – Garden by Austin Maynard Architects, Ben Scott Garden Designs

A family garden that opens up to the community and it’s surroundings. While the actual footprint of ‘THAT House’ is nearly half the size of it’s neighbours it feels abundant and open, perfectly accommodating this families needs.

‘Vardo Hut’ by Doherty Design Studio

Houses Awards
Vardo Hut Cubby by Doherty Design Studio

Designed to raise funds for Kids Under Cover, the ‘Vardo Hut’ is a whimsical and playful kids haven without compromising on style. We certainly wouldn’t mind looking at this cubby in the backyard!

‘The Shroud Breezeway’ by Matt Gibson Architecture & Ben Scott Design

Houses Awards
Shadow House – Shroud ‘Breezeway’ by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design, Ben Scott Garden Design

A collaborative effort by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design and Ben Scott Garden Design has resulted in ‘The Shroud Breezeway’ courtyard.  Acting as both a privacy screen and garden, the courtyard marries the old and new will providing openness and light permeability.

‘Pottsville House’ by Myers Ellyett

Pottsville House-4-boats by Myers Ellyett
Pottsville House by Myers Ellyett

Situated on the river’s edge, the Pottsville House has been designed to store boats whilst providing the owners a place to gather, cook and enjoy the great outdoors.  Not to mention an impressive cubby for their 3 young boys.

‘Myrtle Tree House’ by MAKE Architecture

Myrtle Tree House by MAKE Architecture

The owner’s desire to retrain to existing established trees has greatly dictated how the design of ‘Myrtle Tree House’ flows.  By constructing new walls and boundary fences, MAKE architecture have created a series of walled courtyards that weave throughout the property giving the owners’ generous new outdoor living spaces.

‘Fairfield House’ by Kennedy Nolan & Sam Cox Landscape

Houses Awards
Fairfield House by Kennedy Nolan

Kennedy Nolan together with Sam Cox Landscape have designed a habitable native garden which blends seamlessly with the lush bush setting.  Positioned on the banks of the Yarra River, the ‘Fairfield House’ has all the notes of a country Australian garden.

‘Canada Bay’ by CplusC Architectural Workshop

Houses Awards
Canada Bay Residence by CplusC Architectural Workshop

The pitter, patter of little feet prompted the owner’s of this suburban home to extend their living spaces.  An outdoor room was designed to accommodate their growing family whilst also providing adequate privacy from the onlooking neighbours.

‘Baffle House’ by Eckersley Garden Architecture & Clare Cousins Architects

Houses Awards
Baffle House by Eckersley Garden Architecture with Clare Cousins Architects

A tightly constrained outdoor space didn’t limit the design of the ‘Baffle House’ garden by Eckersley Garden Architecture. The landscape with it’s eclectic planting palette has provided a consistent thread, linking the contemporary garden pavilion to the Edwardian Cottage designed by Clare Cousins Architects.

‘Backyard Studio’ by Figureground Architecture

Houses Awards
Backyard Studio by Figureground Architecture

This ‘Backyard Studio’ project by Figureground Architecture takes the concept of a granny flat to a whole new level.  Re-framing the backyard to create a central, social space, the detached building opens up into the garden and acts as a music studio, play area, and workspace.


All the entries of the Houses Awards are judged by a panel of architects and designers who are well respected in the field of Australian design.  We expect they’ll have a difficult decision in deciding which creative will take out the award for each category.

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