A new nationwide competition is set to bring together creative minds from across the local and national building industry.
The $40,000 dWELL contest will showcase next-generation urban housing by challenging industry professionals and tertiary students to design a new style of home with wellness, innovation, affordability and sustainability at its heart.
Run by Lake Macquarie City Council, Director Organisational Services Laura Kendall said dWELL would demonstrate how homes for tomorrow can be built today, without a premium price tag.
The competition has two categories, one for professional architects and building designers and another for teams comprising of at least one university architecture student.
Entrants will first submit an expression of interest and description of their intended design, based on a vacant, council-owned block of land on Ocean Street in Dudley.
Entries selected for Stage 1 will share in a $10,000 prize pool and be invited to create a more detailed submission.
Manager Property and Business Development David Antcliff said the time was right to think outside the square to create better housing options.
“We want to give a platform to the ideas that have been bubbling around in the back of designers’ heads,” he said.
“All too often, a client’s brief is very specific about what they want to achieve, how a building will look or how it will perform, and this thinking generally comes from the past.”
He added the council would consider building the winning design on the prime hilltop site in Dudley, which overlooks the coast to the north, to be managed as part of its asset portfolio.
“Winners and shortlisted Stage 2 entries will share in a $30,000 prize pool, but there is an incentive here far greater than the cash reward,” he said.
“Winning entries will be showcased nationally as an example of what is possible, what is practical and what is affordable in providing next-generation housing for all Australians.”
The judging panel will comprise Urban Development Institute of Australia NSW Chief Executive Steven Mann, Planning Institute of Australia NSW President Juliet Grant, University of Newcastle Head of Architecture Chris Tucker and locally-based The Block 2014 contestants Maxine and Karstan Smith.
Mr Tucker said he would look for designs that reflected an understanding of both where we live and how we live.
“With both of these, it might look radically different to the houses we typically build at the moment,” he said.
Go to Lake Macquarie City Council’s website for more.