By Ted McIntyre

Winning residential designs from around the globe

While the competition at Ontario’s annual Awards of Distinction and CHBA’s National Awards for Housing
Excellence consistently push entrants to new heights, there’s also inspiration to be drawn from elsewhere in the
world. Here’s a look at 2019’s award-winning homes and condos from eight other countries around the globe—
each a sublime work of creativity and architecture.


Daylesford Longhouse (Partners Hill)

Daylesford Longhouse in Australia.

According to the ArchitectureAU Awards jury, “the Daylesford Longhouse is more than a remarkable home—it’s also a hardworking farm building, a verdant greenhouse and a new business setup, all within a 110-metre-long shed. The opportunity to create a generous volume within a singular footprint is cleverly exploited and the timber and brick buildings within the shed form an internal terrain. The scale of the shed responds to the expansive landscape setting, but once you’re inside, it shifts to the human scale, making it a comfortable space in which to live and work.”


Resting upon a 20-acre property in central Victoria, the unique structure wears many hats, including a cooking school, event venue and greenhouse, not to mention a residence. 

“The internalized productive landscape is afforded protection from the locale’s hostility; rainfall is harvested and stored to ensure regular supply,” notes the builder, Partners Hill. But the structure can also “be opened up completely as weather permits,” the jury noted. 

“A verandah forms the transitional space between inside the living quarters and the rest of the building,” the jury adds. “Ladders and stairs lead to spots to sit and drink a glass of wine, various guest quarters and storage spaces.

“This home is the Australian House of the Year for the commitment to the design intent, their innovative approach to a relatively complex brief and its joyful collection of architectural expressions.”


House in Akashi (Arbol Design)

House in Akashi – Japan.

The 2019 International Property Awards’ Asia Pacific division winner for “Architecture: Single Residence Japan,” as well as being shortlisted for Best Urban House in the world by Dezeen, this minimalist timber-clad bungalow is much more than it appears from the outside. Situated on a quiet residential street in Akashi, Japan, it’s divided into three sections, each with its own courtyard, a traditional Japanese-styled room facing onto the garden, a shared living and dining space and a private laundry. 


Bedrooms sit opposite a huge shared closet space at one end of the home. 

Natural ventilation and daylight make their way through thin slits in the wooden exterior, while small windows and overhead shafts in the courtyards allow natural light to scatter throughout.

Apart from space to grow fruit trees and other plants, the courtyards provide the family with enclosed spaces to hang clothes to dry naturally. 


D’Rapport Residences (Acmar Group)

The five towers of D’Rapport in Malaysia will have a stately presence in Kuala Lumpur.

Among a list of accolades for Acmar Group’s flagship project, D’Rapport Residences, was the 2019 award for ASEAN Property Awards’ Best Urban Condo Development. A 9.12-acre oasis within the hustle and bustle of Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, the five 38-storey towers contain 1,099 condominiums. Managed by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the development offers retail and grocery conveniences, a tennis court, two lap pools, 11,000 SF of landscaped greenspace, a full-sized basketball court, spa, sauna and

D’Rapport Residence in Malaysia.

fitness room, as well as plans for golf simulators, an indoor putting range, game stations, a home cinema system and badminton and squash courts. But it’s the Sky Deck, including a pool, gardens and bar, that really catches the eye, providing arresting panoramic views over the sparkling Kuala Lumpur skyline.


Green Line House (Mobius Architects)

Green Line House in Poland.

From a distance, masked by its green roof and an earth embankment, this home blends in with the wild landscape of Warmia in northern Poland, providing intimate camouflage so desired by its clients. The 2019 International Property Awards winner for Best Architecture Single Residence (Poland), the 5,384 SF house takes only a small part of the plot, which contains a natural fold that served as the starting point for the design. A 90 cm reinforced concrete slab suspended above the falling terrain forms an extension of the upper elevation, producing a distinctive clean line. Reinforced concrete slab supported by a system of columns provides a clear zoning of the house, with the living area on the ground floor and the bedroom area on the upper floor. A screen of glass walls, meanwhile, provides a transparent shield to the prevailing winds, while maintaining important viewing axes for the users. The brilliant work of architect Przemek Olczyk remains visible to its users from the inside, while adding value to the surroundings. 


Twisted Towers (DNA Architects)

Twisted Towers in Saudi Arabia

Twisted Towers In Saudi Arabia

The 2019 International Architecture Awards winner in the Skyscraper category, the 90- and 70-storey Twisted Towers in Riyadh geometrically trans-form 90 degrees from their base to top floors. The twisted facade helps create a variety of interior spaces with their own unique lighting and views, depending on the orientation of each floor. 

Luxuriously appointed inside, the building envelope responds to the surroundings and the distribution of its floors. On one side, the facade is full of glass and openings connecting apartment interiors with large terraces. The other side, made of titanium, reflects the sun all day long, emphasizing the building shape throughout the city skyline. 

The facade without terraces incor-porates several photovoltaic panels—
its sunny Saudi location being ideal for this kind of technology—making the building virtually net-zero in its energy consumption. 


The Crescent at Donaldson’s (CALA Homes)

Winner in both the Innovation in Design and Show Home of the

The Crescent at Donaldson’s – Scotland

Year (Over £400,000) categories at the 2019 Scottish Home Awards, this 84-apartment development in Edinburgh has been described as the “most upmarket in Scotland’s recent history.” 

Situated on the property of the iconic Donaldson’s College in Edinburgh, the project is a “bold and sweeping arc” of glass-fronted apartments, the design of which was inspired by the traditional architecture of Edinburgh’s surrounding Georgian crescents, albeit with a very contemporary twist. 

Located within 18 acres of grounds that make up the largest new shared garden to be created in Edinburgh, CALA Homes notes the development creates the feel of a secluded private estate, despite being just minutes from the Haymarket train station.


Villa Veyrier (Studioforma Architects)

Villa Veryrier in Switzerland.

Taking home the International Property Awards prize for Best Architecture Single Residence (Switzerland), this Geneva-area home sits opposite a generous agricultural land facing France’s Mont Salève. 

Studioforma Architects suggested a lounge area with parquet flooring that, together with sprawling kitchen glass doors, enables a seamless border between interior and exterior. Additionally, the outdoors is easily accessible through the panorama doors. 

With a pool for the summer and firepit for the winter, the outdoor space caters to entertaining, but with an intimate corner as well. Indoors, the first storey features multiple rooms, including the master bedroom and a fitness area.


Trilogy “Apex” (Shea Homes;KTGY Architecture+ Planning) 

Trilogy Home.

A 2019 gold medal winner for Best Multi-Family Model Home from the National

Trilogy USA

Association of Home Builders, this Summerlin, Nevada penthouse savours outdoor living, taking advantage of the beautiful Las Vegas skyline. Take your private elevator up to the main living area, where the oversized kitchen island with waterfall edges provides a striking centrepiece. Drama is created through rolling walls of glass in the dining room that can be pushed aside to reveal the roomy wraparound deck. Walnut planking adds warmth to the soaring ceiling heights, while built-in floor-to-ceiling cabinetry adds ample storage to the multi-purpose study.


Off-Grid Guest House – USA


Off-Grid Guest House (Anacapa Architects)

An American Institute of Architects 2019 Housing Awards winner in the One- and Two-Family Residences category, this dramatic design offers stunning views of the surrounding Gaviota Coast landscape, part of the longest remaining rural coastline in southern California. The 1,800 SF home is topped by a green roof and, due to its remote location, is designed to operate off the grid, with solar panels providing energy and water drawn from an on-site well, with a private water treatment system.

Off Grid Guest House – USA

“At the heart of the owner’s objectives for this project were preservation and protection of the natural environment,” notes the architect, Santa Barbara-based Anacapa. “Disguised by a low-profile and green roof, the home itself invites sweeping (nearly 360 degree) views…through a generous amount of sliding glass and expansive decks, which cantilever over the foundation’s steep rock face. A simple material palette of steel, concrete and glass was selected, with rich walnut accents and custom fixtures and furnishings. The design includes a detached garage, which is also discreetly built into the hillside.”

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