BDAV Building Design of the Year 2010

Moonah Links residence wins four awards including the coveted Building Design of the Year 2010

A house on the secluded coastal Moonah Links Golf Course on the Mornington Peninsula designed by Hamilton Design Pty Ltd has won the 2010 BDAV Building Design of the Year.

Hamilton Design Pty Ltd is a long-established design practice in Victoria, based in Beaconsfield. Operating for more than 30 years, they offer the full range of design work including residential, commercial, and industrial. In 2001 they acquired their local competitors – Barlink and Berwick Drafting Pty Ltd – doubling their size and capacity. With a focus on the latest technology, their CAD documentation and printing systems are very up-to-date, and include in-house 3D digital video and 2D digital artistic presentation media. Managing Director, Sean Hamilton, is a Past President and Fellow of the BDAV, and served as BDAV President from 1997 to 1999.

The judges said the Moonah Links house exhibits a level of sophistication and under-statement that is all too rare in upmarket residential design. “While lacking nothing in amenity, the design relies upon innovative but simple planning, a limited materials palette and exquisite internal and external detailing for its impact,” said Paula Hanley, chair of the Judging Panel.

An arrangement of timber-clad cubic forms is suspended from bold structural elements such as the off-form concrete spine wall and expressed steelwork. The weight of these elements is contrasted with the transparency of large window areas and double height walls of fixed glass.

The arrangement of the forms follows the slope of the site, with upper level cantilevered elements providing articulation and ensuring that the building, while bold in appearance, does not overpower the coastal landscape. Vehicle and pedestrian access is at road level by way of a suspended timber ‘jetty’ constructed out of salvaged wharf timbers. The visitor progresses to the lower living areas via an off-form concrete stair while maintaining visual connection with the surrounding ti-tree and golf links at all times. Bedroom areas, which are at road level, are connected by a bridge through the double height void of the living areas below.

There is very little that is decorative in this house. The exquisitely detailed structural elements and materials result in a refined industrial aesthetic which is sophisticated and luxurious. The designer has dispensed with plasterboard linings in favour of express-jointed craftwood throughout; exposed steel has been gloss finished; and off-form concrete has been pigmented in warm earthy tones. Timber accents punctuate the interior: staggered timber floor boards encroach upon a carpeted area; a massive rough-hewn beam acts as a vanity bench in a bathroom, providing contrast with sleek wall and floor tiling.

“This house exudes originality and confidence”, said Paula. “The design is evidence of the designer’s skill and attention to detail, and depth of understanding of form and materials. A most worthy winner of Building Design of the Year.”

Sean Hamilton described the project as “Skilful design, bold construction techniques, softened with organic material elements, combine to shrug off the site steepness and rest easy on the contour.”

“If success of a design is expressed by all who visit as “I love this, I want to live here”, then ‘Tralee’ stands proudly on the podium,” said Sean.

The project also won awards for Residential Design – New Houses: over $1M construction cost; Interior Design – Residential; and Most Innovative Use of Glass.


Designer:  Hamilton Design Pty Ltd
Builder:  Swale Developments Pty Ltd and Logicon Building Pty Ltd
Photographer:  Peter Bowes – Bowes & Hunter

Soaked in natural daylight with glazed walling and breezway louvers, the 'gathering space' and allusive kitchen, is cocooned in soaring ceilings, cigar pigmented concrete floors and spine walls
Soaked in natural daylight with glazed walling and breezway louvers, the 'gathering space' and allusive kitchen, is cocooned in soaring ceilings, cigar pigmented concrete floors and spine walls - Peter Bowes – Bowes & Hunter