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2017 Houses Awards: New House under 200 m2

New House under 200 m2 Balnarring Retreat by Branch Studio Architects 2017 Houses Awards

Jury comment

Balnarring Retreat is a humble, hardworking dwelling that offers flexibility in use through cleverly crafted, simple, low-tech operable systems. Whether used as a studio or private residence, it is a place to slow down and retreat from the frantic pace of contemporary life.

The honest materiality creates a simple palette, strengthening the dwelling’s connection with the surrounding native landscape. The jury was taken with the idea that this compact and efficient building could be easily adapted to suit multiple and varied locations – a prototype for considered, easy-to-construct and affordable homes. This little retreat reminds us that you don’t need much space or technology to enjoy the pleasures of life.

The building is a delightful response to a complex brief and limited budget. It relies on the simplicity of an efficient plan and raw materials to create a delightful building that looks set to become an integral part of the landscape in which it has settled.

See full image galleries of all the winning and shortlisted projects here.

Award for New House under 200 m2 is supported by Artedomus.


Branch Studio Architects
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Builder L. J. Roberts Constructions
Engineer WSP Structures
Landscape Owner
Lighting and joinery LTNK and Orchard Design
Photographer Peter Clarke
Site details
Site type Rural
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 4 Aug 2017
Images: Peter Clarke


Houses, August 2017

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