10 Incredible Architect-Designed Homes We Saw In 2022

We often find ourselves ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’ at all the incredible Australian residential architectural projects that come across our desks. Whether they’re big builds, clever renovations, or small, impactful designs, they all have one thing in common; unsurpassed design ingenuity!

This year we were in no short supply of fabulous architect-designed homes to share with you, which makes it almost impossible to select ‘the best’, but based on reader popularity (and a few of our own faves too!) we’ve whittled it down! Here are 10 of the top architecture stories for 2022. 

Lucy Feagins

Brunswick House by Olaver Architecture. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

The updated home features three separate volumes linked by a glass bridge above and walkway below. Landscape design by Robyn Barlow Design. Build by Warwick Constructions. Landscaping by Bespoke Landscapes. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Build by Warwick Constructions. Landscape design by Robyn Barlow Design. Landscaping by Bespoke Landscapes. Photo – Derek Swalwell

The second internal courtyard, separating the main living pavilion from the self-contained studio and garage. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Courtyards define various zones, while linking the indoor and outdoor, and softening the transitions between the original building and the extension. Photo – Derek Swalwell

A Classic Victorian Terrace, Reimagined As Three Light-Filled Pavilions

Fitzroy Bridge House by Matt Gibson Architecture + Design started as a typical Victorian terrace: beautiful, but lacking in natural light and ventilation.

Rather than add a contrasting extension (a common heritage renovation approach), the architects designed a series of mews-like buildings to expand the Melbourne home.

Breaking the linear layout that typically defines these historic terraces, the updated home features three separate volumes, linked by a glass bridge above and two internal courtyards below. This ingenious approach invites light and air into the narrow site, without compromising on movement or space within.

Read the full story here. 

The traditional Victorian front sits beside its contemporary addition. The towering elm at the centre of the house can be glimpsed from the streetscape. Photo – Rory Gardiner.

Green pockets landscaped by Eckersley break up the built forms of the house with multiple natural environments. Photo – Rory Gardiner.

Curved timber and glazing frame the courtyard from the main living zone. Photo – Rory Gardiner.

The blue bathrooms are a distinct tonal shift to the rest of the house. Photo – Rory Gardiner.

A Timeless Renovation Incorporating Three Eras Of Design History

When a heritage house contains a newer addition, such as an 80s or 90s extension, an architect is often briefed to remove it.

But in the case of the Autumn House in Carlton North, Studio Bright were instructed to create a design that sympathetically united the original Victorian terrace, the 1980s Mick Jörgensen renovation, and new contemporary elements.

The result is an absolute feat!

Read the full story here. 

Brunswick House by Olaver Architecture. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

‘Our favourite way to socialise (even before kids!) is having people over for a meal, and that felt really considered by Olaver, who made the kitchen area the heart of our home,’ say the owners Taryn Stenvei and Pat O’Neill. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

Priorities of the addition were capitalising on the home’s northern aspect and introducing quality materials. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

A larger footprint was sacrificed for optimum natural light, and a juxtaposing material palette of brick and timber window frames. Photo – Benjamin Hosking

A Cheerful Brick Addition To A Weatherboard Home

Olaver Architecture have worked on many single-fronted Melbourne terrace renovations over the years, with each project presenting new territory to explore and a building vocabulary to expand on.

In the case of this Brunswick home, the architects saw an opportunity to capitalise on the existing weatherboard’s sloping site, and play with ceiling heights to demarcate spaces.

The resulting solid brick addition is exactly what the clients, Taryn Stenvei and Pat O’Neill, asked for: a sunny, personality-filled home built for entertaining, and the realities of young family living.

Read the full story here.

The stunning facade! Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Garden views are captured across the home. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

A glimpse into the second floor. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Inside Esplanade House by Clare Cousins Architecture! Photo – Sharyn Cairns

A Mindful Multi-Generational Family Home In Clifton Hill

Creating a brand new home that respects the heritage context of an existing streetscape is no easy feat.

So when Clare Cousins Architects were enlisted to replace a post-war cottage in Clifton Hill with a large, multi-generational family home, the architects started by drawing inspiration from what was already there.

The resulting Esplanade House features salvaged bricks from the site’s original property, thoughtfully incorporating the past into its intriguing design — woven together with Fiona Brockhoff-designed gardens.

Read the full story here.

The new outdoor pool is central to the outdoor space. Photo – Andy Macpherson

The sunken garden. Landscape architecture by Dan Young Landscape Architect. Paint colours include Dulux Penzance and Dulux Concealment.Photo – Andy Macpherson

The upper-level kitchen overlooks a void to to the new outdoor spaces below. Laminex Spinifex cabinetry. Photo – Andy Macpherson

Designed for elderly by opening up this enclosed rear of the house, a serene green outlook is able to be enjoyed from above, below and within. This apartment contains a generous bathroom (to accommodate wheelchairs), a concrete foundation prepared for a future elevator, bedroom, and laundry. Photo – Andy Macpherson

A Traditional Queenslander Turned Multigenerational, Japanese-Inspired Home

The owners of this Queenslander in Brisbane’s Northgate came to Arcke architects with an idea: lift the original structure, and create a self-contained, wheelchair-accessible apartment underneath.

Inspired by this vision and the client’s love of Japanese architecture, Arcke took this one step further, creating an ‘engawa’ (a Japanese covered area facing a garden) between the two storeys.

This shared space and its relationship to the garden provides social interaction between the multigenerational family occupants on both levels, and a serene green outlook able to be enjoyed from above, below, and within.

Read the full story here.

The newly-extended family home designed by the owner, architect Lisa Breeze! Photo – Cathy Schusler. Styling – Natalie James


What was an unremarkable, draughty house has been renovated and extended to be highly functional, more sustainable, and full of calming blue hues. Window beach seat top in Laminex Spinifex. Photo – Cathy Schusler. Styling – Natalie James

Artwork by Marisa Purcell. Photo – Cathy Schusler. Styling – Natalie James

An Architect’s Own Tranquil, Terrazzo-Filled Home

Melbourne-based architect Lisa Breeze is the master of taking seemingly unremarkable homes, and making them special.

This Victorian house is Northcote is the second project Lisa has designed for herself (the first was equally delightful!), although this time, with her family in tow.

What was once a rundown, dark period cottage has been transformed into a more spacious, highly functional family home, full of bold design flourishes!

Read the full story here. 

The facade’s scale is also in keeping with the 1853 stone house that was previously on site. Photography – Peter Bennetts. Styling – Studio Georg. Sourcing – Bea + Co

With quiet spaces to soak it all in! Photography – Peter Bennetts. Styling – Studio Georg. Sourcing – Bea + Co

The dreamy wood details in the kitchen! Photography – Peter Bennetts. Styling – Studio Georg. Sourcing – Bea + Co

The expansive living and kitchen space. Photography – Peter Bennetts. Styling – Studio Georg. Sourcing – Bea + Co

The house has had a makeover courtesy of MRTN and Brave New Eco. Photography – Peter Bennetts. Styling – Studio Georg. Sourcing – Bea + Co

This New Northcote Home Takes Its Cues From Italian Villages

Think of West Bend House — a new home designed by MRTN Architects with designers Brave New Eco — as an ‘inhabited pathway.’

Located on an elongated block in Northcote, the house was conceptualised as a ‘small village’ of clearly defined sections inside and out that connect spaces from front to back.

The majority of the home is not visible from the street. Rather, West Bend House is intentionally recessive, allowing the garden by SBLA Landscape Architecture and views of Merri Creek trees to serve as the focal point of residents and passersby.

Read the full story here.

Already shrouded by native plants, the updated cottage leaves plenty of room for its garden to flourish. Photo – Tom Ross

‘An extension to an existing Thornbury cottage, the new living areas are now landscape as much as they are house, tangled through with greener,’ Nick says. Photo – Tom Ross

Timber features dominate the kitchen. Photo – Tom Ross

Perfectly placed windows help keep the home warm and bright. Photo – Tom Ross

Step Inside A Thornbury Extension Designed Around Its Future Gardens

Vivarium is a totally transformed Thornbury cottage intended to be ‘consumed’ by its future garden.

Designed by Architecture Architecture, new living areas are entangled with green spaces thanks to curved walls and an enchanting central courtyard. The project also successfully adheres to the homeowner’s requests to minimise their environmental footprint.

Read the full story here.

‘Throughout, the space creates its own sense of expansion and compression – from intimate dining to the towering ceiling suspended over a wall of handpicked art. The design further opens the kitchen at the rear to a now private garden, where neighbours’ houses are unseen, yet their mature trees including a palm and Jacaranda become part of our client’s seasonal experience of their own garden.’ Artwork, ‘Two Boats’ by Margie Sheppard. Photo – Peter Bennetts

Timmins + Whyte Architecture + Design were brought in to work their magic, essentially pressing ‘reset’ on the entire home. The practice completely rebuilt the oldest rooms to match modern sustainability standards, while adding a new extension with an innovative ‘folding’ roof addressing both the pattern of the street and natural light. Photo – Peter Bennetts

‘On the ground floor, we relocated the bathroom and laundry into the middle of the house with a service/lightwell to allow the kitchen, living and dining space to be built out to both boundaries.’ Photo – Peter Bennetts

A ‘Folding’ Edwardian Home, Designed To Maximise Natural Light

Previous renovations had significantly altered this Edwardian home, removing many of its original heritage details in the process, but doing little to address its lack of natural light.

Timmins + Whyte Architecture + Design were brought in to work their magic, essentially pressing ‘reset’ on the entire home. The practice completely rebuilt the oldest rooms for modern sustainability standards, while adding a new extension with an innovative ‘folding’ roof addressing both the pattern of the street and natural light.

As the project’s name and roof form suggests, renovations have improved this entire house 10 fold!

Read the full story here.

Court House is a newly-built home in Yackandandah, a small town in north-east Victoria. Photography – Rory Gardiner

The single-level design twists around an internal courtyard, with communal rooms facing the street, and bedrooms at the rear. Photography – Rory Gardiner

Photography – Rory Gardiner

A Modern Court House For Yackandandah

Court House is a project named both for its design surrounding a central courtyard, and its position next door to a genuine former court house in Yackandandah, in north-east Victoria.

The newly-built house was created by locals (an architect born in the town), for locals (a client returning to the region they grew up in).

Balancing council expectations and their own vision for the project, Archier designed a house that positively contributes to Yackandandah’s built environment, while reflecting the owners’ values.

Read the full story here.

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