Moats Corner


The winners of Australia’s peak industry design awards – the highest honour for design and innovation in the country, were announced at The Star on 11 July at the 61st annual Good Design Awards Ceremony.

Moat’s Corner received a prestigious Good Design Award Winner Accolade in the Architectural Design category in recognition for outstanding design and innovation.

The annual Good Design Awards is Australia’s most prestigious International Awards for design and innovation with a proud history dating back to 1958. The Awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian market, excellence in architectural design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design and reward emerging areas of design strategy, social impact and design entrepreneurship.

The Good Design Awards jury spent several days evaluating each entry according to a strict set of design criteria which covers ‘good design’, ‘design innovation’ and ‘design impact’. Projects recognised with a Good Design Award must demonstrate excellence in all areas and convince the jury they are worthy of recognition.

Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia said: “Receiving a Good Design Award at this level is a significant achievement given the very high calibre of entries received this year.”

“Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence; it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately improve our quality of life. These projects showcase the brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world,” said Dr. Gien.

The Good Design Awards jury praised Moat’s Corner.

“The modernist architectural style and light-filled rooms deliver a very high quality internal environment that sits in the rural environment beautifully. This modernist inspired house is carefully designed to engage with its garden at every opportunity.”

The Good Design Awards attracted a record number of submissions with close to 700 design projects evaluated in this year’s international design awards.

The award-winning project, Moat’s Corner, draws on an inspired vision and a commitment to an established setting, refined to a point of tranquil precision, forming an interactive haven, with which to experience the life and energy that surrounds it.

The sites layered history began with a pioneering family, after whom Moat’s Corner was named. A gnarled cypress lined driveway is a historic cue to the first settlers on this rural property within the coastal town on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula. Next came almost 70 years of a gardeners cultivating and collecting, resulting in a rambling and diverse array of flora across 5 acres of the 53 acre stretch.  In a new phase now, the owners’ have shown commitment to create a home over the existing footprint set the tone for the design challenge – to respond to the integrity of its setting.

The elevated main level of the home observes the immediate gardens from a habitual perspective. Mid-canopy height, the glazed walls completely soak up the greenery that surrounds them. A deep, continual eave line both shields from a hot summer glare and embraces the warming winter glow. The northern length of the building is realised from the main living through to the master wing and back, with a sliding doorway the only possible disruption.

The west wall and entry elevation is one of protection, intrigue and interaction. From outside – insulated black panels spaced to a dual glass cladding guard for weather protection. But they are more appreciated at a sensory level, where on approach they completely fill with the reflected silhouette of the established west gardens. From inside – the panels take the form of bookshelves to the bedroom wing and bench top and storage to the kitchen, recessed and raised. They are framed with deep-set glass above, below and between, ensuring nature’s moments are never missed.

Raw galvanised steel appears as an offset frame to the intermittent reflective panels, while floor and roof structures adhere to the depth tolerances that the steel members prescribe. A natural stack stone fin is the grounding element below a completely cantilevered bedroom wing, projecting the roots of the design inspiration – a mid-century modernist ethos encompassing honesty to materials, structural innovation and minimal ornamentation. The elevated band provides a look-through to the landscape poolside, allowing vegetation to nestle gently under and around with minimal disturbance.

Moat’s Corner is as much functional as it is observational. By virtue of the house design, to live in the home is to co-exist with the garden. Perched respectfully, the modernist inspired style opens itself up to the garden at every opportunity, equally important and equally celebrated.

There is not a space within the home deemed principal or secondary that does not acknowledge the life that surrounds it, reflecting nature’s mood, unpredictable but always in a synchronised sway.

Design Matters Awards
2019 Building Design of the Year
2019 New House over $3M Construction Cost
2019 Past Presidents Prize

Good Design Awards
2019 Good Design Award Winner
in the Architectural Design Category

Photography: Jack Lovel