Talent and expertise of designers showcased at Building Design Awards.

Killara stately home in bohemian Windsor, Victoria, was designed with a purpose: to be so well-conceived, well-built and embedded in the enduring architectural principles of modernism that it would never be demolished.

The success of Killara’s modern twist on a heritage building resulted in it taking out this year’s Building Design of the Year in the 2017 BDAV Building Design Awards, held at the National Gallery of Victoria on July 29. The awards, created by the Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) and now in their 22nd year, aim to profile excellence in building design, as well as profiling the importance of the building design profession to both the building industry and the broader community

The brainchild of Melbourne design firm Junctions90, Killara is a heritage home and one of the area’s last remaining stately homes, nestled on one of Windsor’s most prestigious streets.

Marc Bernstein-Hussmann, chair of the judging panel, says the winning project took advantage of an outstanding structure that was fortunate to have been saved from developers at auction.

“It is great to see a stately home preserved with respect and integrity,” he says. “Showcasing a beautiful interpretation of modernist architectural values, this project pushes the creative boundaries to produce a truly unique and inspiring design.”

The project is an impressive take on a heritage building, making a bold statement with the addition of a two-storey, self-contained apartment. One of the most striking features of the building is the upper rear façade, which draws the eye up and blends into the sky with its reflective stainless steel finish.

“Killara makes full use of modern materials to define a vast, free-flowing interior,” Bernstein-Hussmann says. “The project combines new architecture, outdoor surroundings and the requirements of heritage overlay into one unique structure.”

Lead designer Dina Malathounis says that she envisioned Killara as a low-maintenance, multi-generational family home which was designed to respect its heritage structure and integrity.

“We took a Miesian approach, using simple materials to connect the inside to the outside,” she says. “The team at Junctions90 is passionate about creating unique projects that aim to provide a comfortable lifestyle in inviting spaces which also complement the environment.”

Another stand-out success at the annual BDAV Building Design Awards was Moama Anglican Grammar School, which won the Excellence in Use of Timber award.

No doubt a challenging brief for designers Brandrick Architects, this school extension more than triples the size of the original main building, delivering an impressive transformation of the existing school. The beautiful acoustic ply ceiling in the library provides a warm, nurturing environment and bounces light entering through the highlights deep into the space. Skilful application of timber unifies the multitude of different spaces, each with their own distinct function and requirements. As the material of choice for joinery, tessellated plywood creates a timber “mosaic”, and this theme is consistently reflected throughout, from reception to wall cladding, from furniture to light objects and windows. A clear winner demonstrating excellent use of timber.

The 2017 BDAV Building Design Awards were proudly sponsored by BlueScope, WoodSolutions, the Victorian Building Authority and Webber Insurance Services. For a full list of award winners, visit bdav.org.au/awards