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Canberra Today 18°/21° | Monday, December 6, 2021 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

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Inside look at ACT’s ‘highest-quality’ architecture

In this sponsored post, Canberra’s Housing Industry Association Award winners share personal insights into how they built their prize homes.

ACT and southern NSW executive director Greg Weller.

EACH year the Housing Industry Association (HIA) awards bring together the top builders and designers in new-home construction.

In 2021, a stunning property by Manteena, architects Ring & Associates and The Dept. of Design took out the coveted Home of the Year prize.

“The 2021 Home of the Year highlights the extremely high standards of this year’s entries, with modern architecture and workmanship of the highest quality,” said ACT and Southern NSW executive director Greg Weller.

“The builders and designers vie for the chance to win awards across a range of categories that are judged by a panel of industry experts, and some will ultimately go on to represent our region at the Australian Housing Awards, which will be held on the Gold Coast in May.

To celebrate this year’s HIA awards, “CityNews” spoke to some of the winners, who shared an inside perspective of how they designed and built their prize homes.


Airport-themed house wins more awards

DANNY Agnello, residential operations manager at Manteena, says it’s “just so rewarding” to be recognised for all the effort that was put into the build and design of the ACT and Southern NSW Home of the Year.

The combined effort from Manteena, Ring and Associates and The Dept. of Design won the team five Housing Industry Association awards including Custom Built Home over $1.5 million, New Kitchen over $35,000, Kitchen of the Year, Custom Built Home of the Year and ACT and Southern NSW Home of the Year.

“We’ve done quite a lot of projects together in the past so we’ve got quite a good working relationship and it’s very collaborative so we’re able to achieve the best outcome for everyone,” says Danny.

He says the “airport” design was a desire from the client.

“The wings allow for the creation of zones within the house and provide opportunity for solar penetration, cross-flow ventilation and views from all rooms,” says Danny.

Manteena, 84 Barrier Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 7033 or visit
Architects Ring & Associates call 6239 7177 or visit
Dept of Design call 6176 0330 or visit

The Sunny Homes’ team outside their display home.

Precise planning wins custom-built home award

SUNNY Homes has taken out the HIA award for a Custom-Built Home up to $500,000 with its meticulously planned property in Taylor.

“Here at Sunny Homes we micro plan our projects to track and monitor every step of execution,” says director Navleen Malhotra.

“Once our interiors team completed the plans and customised selections, we moved to commencement of the project.

“One of the major challenges was to design and deliver the specific design requirements including but not limited to providing a gas fireplace and incorporating maximum natural light in the spacious living and dining room areas.

“This became easier because our design team and the client communicated early and locked in everything at the planning stage itself.”

Navleen says the team were excited to just be nominated as a finalist, let alone their reaction when they found out they had won.

“I couldn’t believe it at first. We were all so happy, we had a team group hug,” he said.

But of most importance Navleen says was the feedback they received from their client.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to conduct business with Sunny Homes and congratulate them for their professionalism, integrity, and workmanship throughout the process,” said one of the new dream home owners.

“There is no doubt in our minds that we would build with Sunny Homes again in the future.”

Sunny Homes, 24 McGlashan Street, Taylor. Call 0493 030306, visit or email

Archertec Interiors director Sonja McAuliffe.

Bathroom design feels spacious and intimate

FOLLOWING their success at the Master Builders Awards this year, Archertec Interiors have followed it up with another four HIA award wins with their unique house in Griffith.

Taking out the award for Best Bathroom Design, Best New Bathroom and Bathroom of the Year, as well as for the award for Best Residential Interior Design, director Sonja McAuliffe said she and the team were “rapt” with the outcome.

“It’s an amazing house, and the team’s attention to detail is what made the difference,” she says.

“The bathroom is a master ensuite that joins into a beautiful walk-in robe and bedroom area but what made it quite unique was the fireplace dividing the ensuite to the bedroom.

“It’s a double-sided fireplace so you can see through and it created a really nice feature next to a free standing bath.”

Sonja says they tried to focus on making a large space feel intimate.

“It can be quite challenging, making the space still feel in proportion and intimate when you’ve got a lot of space to work with,” she says.

“But by creating the fireplace and having the free-standing bath and a slight angle, it helped us to fill it out without overcrowding and complicating it.

“As a result it still had that spacious feeling but at the same time, it felt comfortable and intimate.”

Archertec Interiors, 2/59 Wentworth Avenue, Kingston. Call 6239 7177 or 0416 172431, or visit

Builders take two bows for building awards

360 Building Solutions have won the HIA awards for Custom Built Home over $900,000 in Watson and HIA GreenSmart Sustainable Home in Denman Prospect.

“We are very happy with the result and we are glad that the judges awarded the houses,” says managing director Dean Struys.

He says both of the builds took about 10 months to complete.

“We have had tremendous feedback on these homes, including from the owners, their family and friends, passer-bys, other clients, photographers and members of the construction industry,” says Dean.

“These are projects that we are collectively very proud of, a genuine team effort.

“I think the judges awarded these houses because of the level of detail and inclusions that went into the builds.”

Owners of the Watson home, Vik Sundar and Pip Blackwood, said: “We were always excited about building our new family home, but what we underestimated at the time is the positive impact that a well-considered and beautiful design would have on our lives.”

360 Building Solutions, Unit 7/12 Cheney Place, Mitchell. Call 0415 493912, email or visit

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