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The Best Australian Architecture

The Best Australian Architecture

This Australia Day, we’re celebrating some of the country’s best architecture. Our favourite recent projects are scattered around the country and encompass public buildings, floating wharves, private residences and office spaces.  Here are our top seven.


1. SAHMRI, Woods Baggot

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute is the work of Woods Baggot and the South Australian government, and incorporates nine separate modules.  Its triangulated dia-grid facade is inspired by the skin of a pinecone and acts as a sunshade, and the building fosters collaboration between its inhabitants via interconnected spiral stairs and bridges between the two atria.


2. Moonlight Cabin, Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

With operable spotted gum screens on every side designed to act as a ‘gore-tex jacket’, the Moonlight Cabin can be completely opened up to take advantage of its position on the very edge of the Victorian coast.  The work of Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, this 60m2 projects is an exercise in sustainable minimalism.

3. Parlour X, Tobias Partners

Sydney firm Tobias Partners transformed Paddington’s St John’s Church into a luxury retail destination, photography studio and office space with a few careful brushstrokes.  


4. Villa Marittima, Robin Williams Architect

Robin Williams’ polycarbonate wrapped residence is defined by its coastal position in Dover Heights, with the main living space hovering between ocean and pool.

5. Sawmill House, Archier

This project rightly flung Tasmanian/Victorian firm Archier into the international spotlight. Built for a regionally based sculptor living on the edge of a quarry, the house’s design was developed during construction, allowing pivoting walls of glass, operable macrocarpa screens, courtyards and verandas to be added and modified throughout the duration of the build.  270 one tonne concrete blocks never looked so good.   

6. Medibank Headquarters, HASSELL with Chris Connell, Fabio Ongarato, K.P.D.O + Russell & George

Medibank is the country’s largest health insurer and its new Melbourne headquarters have been designed to reflects its values.  The work of HASSELL, who collaborated with Chris Connell, Fabio Ongarato, K.P.D.O + Russell & George, the building is defined by the ramps and stairways that wrap around its edge, connecting the edible garden and multipurpose sports ground with its 26 different types of working environments. 

7. Dr Chau Chak Wing Buildling UTS, Frank Gehry

The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is Gehry’s first in Australia. This University building pushes the humble brick to its extreme, and while the building’s undulating facade looks roughly symmetrical front-on, his signature ‘crushed paper bag’ effect pervades every angle of it.