2018 Houses Awards: House Alteration and Addition under 200 m2

House Alteration and Addition under 200 m2 — joint winner Terrarium House by John Ellway 2018 Houses Awards

Jury comment

A familiar Queensland worker’s cottage has been transformed into a luscious, planted oasis. John Ellway has deftly exploited the site’s natural fall by inserting living spaces underneath the raised original cottage. This move has deconstructed the classic verandah arrangement to create a wonderful, breezy and vine-covered entry and external vertical circulation.

The design of the Terrarium House is attuned to its subtropical climate, promoting cross-ventilation with a sunken living space protected from the harsh Queensland sun. The compactness of the house is its triumph; circulation flows seamlessly from one space to another and not one inch is wasted, with notable Japanese influences. A double-height space above the dining area gives the impression of space, without deterring from the intimacy and warmth of the home.

This alteration and addition has been put together with care and finesse in a careful contextual response. There is restraint in its execution, and the design enhances the delight taken in everyday rituals.

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

The award for House Alteration and Addition under 200m2 is supported by Asko.


John Ellway
Builder Matt Saggers
Engineer Josh Neale
Photographer Toby Scott
Site details
Category Residential buildings
Type Alts and adds
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 27 Jul 2018
Images: Toby Scott


Houses, August 2018

More award

See all
Bendigo Hospital Project by Oculus with Paul Thompson 2019 National Landscape Architecture Awards announced

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects has announced the winners of the 2019 National Landscape Architecture Awards.

Cloud Cottage by Takt Studio. 2019 NSW Country Division Awards

The Australian Institute of Architects has revealed the winners of the 2019 edition of the NSW Country Division Awards.

Devonport Living City Stage 1 by Lyons with Maddison Architects and Birrelli. Shortlist revealed: 2019 National Architecture Awards

Buildings that demonstrate the value of architecture through public benefit and commitments to social and environmental sustainability make up the shortlist of the 2019 National …

Manly Greenhouse by Luchetti Krelle. Shortlist revealed: 2019 Eat Drink Design Awards

Ninety-four entries have been shortlisted in the 2019 Eat Drink Design Awards.

Most read

Latest on site