2019 National Design Award Winner

The annual Building Designers Association of Australia National Design Awards recognise the most beautiful and sustainable, stylish and functional building designs submitted by Building Designer members throughout Australia.
Expert industry judges evaluate entrant designs, assessing the use of building materials along with overall design creativity.
Andrew Wilson of Bolster Building Design is the proud recipient of the Small Lot Housing (up to 350sqm) Award for the  Urban Cottage Project.


The client brief was to replace a rundown two bedroom miners' cottage with a modern family home featuring a double garage and pool, whilst ensuring the façade reflected the history of the original cottage and sit within the local streetscape. The family of three children and two adults required a bedroom each for the children and a substantial space for a parent's retreat, that could also double as a guest studio when required. The clients requested open plan living areas, covered outdoor area and low maintenance gardens. 

The site is a 320sqm corner block, sloping front to rear, with both street and side lane access. The site sits within an inner west suburb of Newcastle, formerly an industrial area but now popular with young professionals and families looking to live closer to the city. 


The Solution

The design solution delivered the main house containing open living, dining, kitchen, three bedrooms, main bathroom, laundry  and double garage. The large parents retreat comprising of a combined spacious bedroom, lounge and sitting area, separate kitchen and generous ensuite located above the double garage, connects to the house via an internal stairway and features a separate entrance to enable the space to be utilised as self-contained guest lodging. The street front facade reflects the original miners' cottage with weatherboards, front porch and skillion roof while beyond the street frontage, a stylish transition to finishes such as Colorbond Nail Strip cladding and timber panelling reflect the contemporary style of the young family. Passive solar design was incorporated  with north-oriented living, dining, kitchen areas featuring polished concrete slab for thermal mass. Cross-ventilation has been incorporated into the design with strategic window placement throughout. The seamless transition from indoor living areas to covered outdoor entertaining area is achieved through the polished concrete slab continuing from indoors to outdoors, at one level and large sliding stacker doors with screens. 

The result is a deliberate and functional modern family home.