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House Reduction by Make Architecture Studio. Photography: Peter Bennetts.

Shearer’s Quarters by John Wardle Architects. Photography: Trevor Mein.

Four-room Cottage by Owen and Vokes. Photography: Jon Linkins.

2012 Houses Awards

Presented by Houses magazine, the Houses Awards took place on Thursday 26 July 2012 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney.

The Houses Awards is an annual program celebrating Australia’s best residential projects. Excellence is awarded in eight categories, with the best house receiving the premier award of Australian House of the Year. This year that award went to Shearer’s Quarters by John Wardle Architects. The jury said the house was a “finely tuned and beautifully synthesized building that is a reminder of the essential systems and patterns of domestic life.” Shearer’s Quarters also won the New House under 200 square metres category.

The category winners were:

  • Australian House of the Year: Shearer’s Quarters by John Wardle Architects
  • New House over 200 square metres: Big Hill by Kerstin Thompson
  • New House under 200 square metres: Shearer’s Quarters by John Wardle Architects
  • House Alteration and Addition over 200 square metres: Annandale House by CO-AP
  • House Alteration and Addition under 200 square metres: Four-Room Cottage by Owen and Vokes
  • Apartment, Unit or Townhouse: Airlie Bank by Neometro with McAllister Alcock Architects
  • Heritage: Rooftop Pavilion by Andrew Burges Architecture
  • Outdoor: Marimekko House by Ariane Prevost Architect
  • Sustainability: House Reduction by Make Architecture Studio

With almost 250 entries received, the Houses Awards provides a unique insight into contemporary residential design and the contribution Australia’s architects and designers make to enhancing the way we live.

Entries were judged by a panel comprised of Brit Andresen, professor emeritus at The University of Queensland; Chris Connell, director of Chris Connell Design; James Jones, design principal of Architectus; Rachel Neeson, director of Neeson Murcutt Architects; Cameron Bruhn, editorial director of Architecture Media; and acting as advisor on the Heritage category was Peter Williams, founding director of Williams Boag Architects.

The Houses Awards thanks its generous 2012 supporters: Cult, Duravit, Fisher & Paykel, Haymes, Heritage Council of Victoria, Stormtech, Viridian, WoodSolutions, Zepel Fabrics, SC Land and The Hatton.

For a full list of winners, commendations and finalists, please visit