Australia’s best homes of 2021 have been unveiled.

In a virtual event held last week, Housing Industry Association has unveiled winners of its 2021 HIA-CSR Australian Housing Awards.

Taking out the 2021 Australian HIA-CSR Australian Home of the Year partnered by CSR was the North Curl Curl House (pictured above) by Mallinger Constructions in the coastal suburb of Curl Curl on the NSW Northern Beaches.

Set on top of the headlands, in Curl Curl in the Northern Beaches, the home’s location presented two challenges.

First, there was a 17-meter rise from the street. This included a 3.5-meter projecting sandstone cave and a 4.5-meter sandstone wall between the street and the top.

It also had a southern orientation which is highly exposed to the elements.

Rather than removing obstructive site features, the home’s design bound its internal spaces to them.

Features include:

  • A generous living wing that hovers nine metres out over a sandstone cave
  • An open-plan kitchen which flows onto a courtyard that contours around protruding boulders.
  • A plunge pool which is cut into the rock
  • A contemporary exterior which is comprised of off-form concrete, black zinc and glass, combined with recycled Australian hardwoods and which encases a series of boxes that step up the cliff face.
  • An internal timber feature which conceals a hidden room.
  • A material language of concrete, black zinc, timber and glass that celebrates the architectonic organisation of the whole, hints at the function of each element in isolation and references the immediate material palette of the site – landscape, sandstone and water. Each material will improve with age.
  • Retention of all key natural site features and excavation only of what is necessary
  • Passive solar heating and cooling
  • Cross ventilation and hydronic heating in the concrete slab
  • Only Australian recycled hardwoods.
  • A neutral palette offering a refined interior throughout.

The 2021 HIA Australian Renovation/Addition partnered by COLORBOND® steel was taken out by Victorian builder Martin Builders for its transformation of a 144-year-old bluestone church and parish hall (below) into a serious of new residences in a manner which delivers a contemporary build that blends heritage features, vast open spaces and high vaulted ceilings into the new structure.

The complex comprises of the church, church hall and new apartments. There are six new apartments, and the church and church hall include seven residences between them.

Recycled materials were used whilst careful design planning ensured that the made-over complex sits comfortably within its inner-urban environment.

The 2021 HIA Australian Apartment of the Year was taken out by Giorgi in Western Australia for a luxurious light-filled apartment which offers breathtaking views over the Swan River and the Perth city skyline.

Features include three spacious bedrooms and which have been meticulously designed with private access; a gourmet kitchen; high ceilings throughout the living areas; panoramic water views; opulent and luxurious design elements high quality workmanship and selected finishes.

The 2021 HIA Australian Apartment Complex of the Year partnered by Toyota for Business was taken out by Crown Group for its Infinity complex which is located within the Green Square Town Centre in the heard of Sydney and serves as the gateway to a vibrant city precinct.

An engineering feat, the complex was not only constructed with two interconnected loops forming a central external void and suspended sky-bridge but was built above the existing underground city train station.

It offers a mix of residential, hotel-style and serviced apartments along with a selection of restaurants and retail outlets below.

Residents can enjoy the rooftop courtyard, conference centres and resort-style facilities, as well as the convenience of resident-only access to the train station.

Next, Queensland’s Darren James took out the 2021 Australian Kitchen of the Year partnered by Hettich Australia.

Features of the art deco design include a contrast of bland and gold, a balance of practicality and refinement, a blending of modern glamour with a traditional, ample storage, a generous island bench, quality appliances and a recessed butler’s pantry.

The 2021 HIA Australian Bathroom of the Year partnered by HIA TRADEPASS was taken out by Desyn Homes from South Australia.

Features include:

  • An 80-degree light-filled view of the home’s manicured lawns and verdant garden
  • Steel window frames have one-way reflective glass and also act as the shower screen to the shower, discretely concealed in the ceiling
  • Striking black formed concrete bath and vanity are complemented by raw copper plumbing features
  • Jarrah timber which adds to the room’s warmth
  • A seamless blurring the lines between outdoor and in that creates a bathing experience that showed great ingenuity in integrating the design into an older home.

HIA Managing Director Graham Wolfe congratulated the winners and said the awards recognise excellence in building homes, kitchens and bathrooms as well as in running trade and construction businesses.

“The workmanship of Award winners is exceptional; demonstrated in projects that push the boundaries in design and innovation,” Wolfe said.

“It is my absolute pleasure to congratulate each winner for their hard work and commitment to excellence.

“My congratulations also goes to our future tradespeople – our apprentices – who strive to be the best in all their pursuits.

“And to the professional builders and business partners who are ahead of the game in customer service, design and innovation, building quality and business practices.”

A full list of winners is available here.