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Building design scoops awards - EcoSphere Design

09 Jul 2013

An innovative housing design has seen a Canowindra house take out first place in four categories of the Sydney Branch Design Awards recently.

Owned by Canowindra couple, John and Mary Newman, the house and its design have been undertaken by Brent Reid of EcoSphere Design who submitted the entry to the Building Designers Association NSW.

"Brent, who is also our daughter's partner designed the house and he just found out the results last week," Mrs Newman said.

"It's pretty amazing to win all four categories."

The house took out top accolades in New House, Sustainable Buildings, Heritage/Adaptive Re-Use and the Supreme Award at the Sydney Branch Design Awards, a pre-cursor to the much coveted New South Wales Awards.

Mrs Newman said Brent had his work cut out for him, with old stables, a coach house, a loft and a heritage design to work with.

"It was an old bank building and we fell in love it," she said.

"Brent joined the stable and stipulated that the joining wall needed to be made of the original bricks and luckily we wanted to take the back wall out of the coach house and replaced it with glass to let more light in.

"We told him what we wanted but it was a narrow block so there were a few restrictions and of course, a bit of a challenge with the heritage people but we're very, very happy with the design."

Mrs Newman said that while not needed yet, the house is also fully equipped with wheelchair access- just in case. And while the house also features a loft, it hasn't been very well used by the couple.

"We don't use it all, we definitely don't want to be climbing up there at our age but we send our granddaughters up there," she laughed.

Based in Mullumbimby but with the majority of his business in Sydney, Mrs Newman said Brent is no stranger to challenging designs.

"Last year he adapted new apartments into an old factory in Camperdown and he also won the heritage section in Sydney last year," she said.

"A lot of work went into the photos for this year's submission, we were all but moved out-he kept the basics but all my knitting and anything knick nacky was out," she laughed.

The Canowindra couple's home will soon be in the spotlight again when builder, James Isaacs returns to complete a submission for a building award this Friday.

"James did a very good job because it's an unusual design," Mrs Newman said.

Sally Bourne Landscapes also did a beautiful job on the garden and John has done an enormous work on the garden, mainly out the back planting roses and vegetables and citrus trees; as much as he could jam in."

Mrs Newman said both her and John are thrilled with the overall design of the home they moved into three and a half years ago.

"We moved in just before it was finished but we'd kept on coming in from the farm everyday so we finally said to each other, the power's on everything's ready, why don't we just move in?"

Source: Canowindra News