Bond University Professor and alumni win top architecture prize

July 11, 2019

A Miami duplex designed by a Gold Coast company has won a top international architecture award.

Studio Workshop’s 08 Albatross Avenue took out the Low-Rise, Multi-Unit Housing category of the Architizer A+Awards.

The design company is led by Head of the Abedian School of Architecture at Bond University, Professor Chris Knapp, and Bond architecture alumni Rory Spence, who co-founded Studio Workshop in 2014 with classmate Joel Hutchines, and former assistant professor, Jonathan Nelson.

Archtizer CEO Marc Kushner – cousin of US presidential advisor Jared Kushner – described the award as ‘an unparalleled honour’.

The Miami duplex is one of the firm’s first projects and sits on a 420sq m block previously occupied by a fibro shack.

Each home is about 300sq over three storeys plus rooftop terraces and the facade features vertical fins with openings that frame views of the Pacific Ocean.

“We really wanted to maximise the view and the amenity for the occupants but also present the idea of a singular project,” Professor Knapp said.

“We’ve supressed that really explicit party wall that often makes duplexes look like little skinny shoeboxes.”

Professor Knapp said the slats – which were originally envisioned to be timber but are aluminium on the finished project for ease of maintenance – draw the two townhouses together.

“It’s restrained, but expresses difference at the same time. Inside the idea of the timber screen is reinforced by timber joinery, flooring, and detailing.”

Professor Knapp said 08 Albatross Avenue sat well with his teaching philosophy of using advanced design and construction techniques.

“I'm a big believer that we do need to densify and take better advantage of our infrastructure by infilling so the Gold Coast is more sustainable in terms of population growth.”

Another home designed by Studio Workshop in Port Moresby will be put forward for an international award later this year and the firm is working on projects in Mackay and Brisbane.

A family home at Currumbin will be completed by Christmas and Studio Workshop is designing a resort in Tweed Heads featuring 44 accommodation units.