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Some of Australia’s most innovative architects and building designers have presented a glimpse of the future of NSW homes as the winners of the Missing Middle Design Competition were announced at an awards ceremony earlier this month.

The national competition received 111 entries for homes designed using straightforward complying development rules in three different medium density categories - dual occupancy, terraces and manor homes.

Minister for Planning and Housing, Anthony Roberts, said the entries were so imaginative and resourceful that the NSW Government is exploring the possibility of actually building them as low-rise medium density demonstration homes.


“Most new housing in NSW falls into two categories – traditional free-standing homes or strata-titled apartments, Mr Roberts said.


“What is missing are the low-rise, medium sized homes, like terraces, dual occupancies and townhouses. This gap in our housing market has become known as the ‘Missing Middle’."


“During the competition these talented creators showed us what the future diversity of our homes will look like. Their imaginative take on how to create homes that utilise space, light and smaller blocks as part of the medium density guide and code were truly inspiring."


“The innovative designs submitted were so impressive that we will explore building demonstration homes based on these designs."


“These types of homes will help address both supply and affordability. They are typically built on smaller blocks of land than traditional free standing homes, which also help improve affordability.”


NSW Government Architect and competition jury chair, Peter Poulet, said the competition presented an opportunity to see the draft policy in action, test it and get feedback.


“These designs will contribute to the final design guide and housing code and make well-designed, low-rise medium density homes a reality through Sydney’s middle-ring suburbs and beyond,” Mr Poulet said.


“They will bring innovation through the arrangement of landscape, open space and off-street parking, adding to the existing structures and the ability to age in a familiar place, to name a few”.


Mr Poulet was joined on the jury by National Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture winner Rachel Neeson, Partners Hill Principle Architect Timothy Hill, Parramatta City Council’s Urban Design Manager Jan McCredie, and Independent Building Designer Les Dickson.


Most entries came from registered and graduate architects, with some from building designers and student architects. Entries also came from interstate, including a winning design from South Australia and one from the UK.


Winner ($10,000) – Youssofzay & Hart Architects
Runner up ($5,000) – TRIAS Architects
Commendation – Eeles Trelease Architects


Winner ($10,000) – Madigan Architecture / University of South Australia
Runner up ($5,000) – Kieran Ward, Graduate Architect
Commendation – Henry Foley and Isobel Lord


Winner ($10,000) – Platform Architects
Runner up ($5,000) – Olivia van Dijk Architecture
Commendation – pH+ Architects


Click here to view all the competition winning designs.

Download PDF media release

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