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  • Anna Wallis

    Journalist

    Email Anna Wallis

    Stunning Cairns home wins major American architecture prize


    A Cairns house that sensuously wraps itself round a rainforest hillside has won its architect and owner Jesse Bennett a prestigious American architecture award.

    The American Architecture Prize 2017 named Jesse Bennett Studio as a winner in the residential interior design section for Planchonella House.

    Judges cited the simplicity of the Cairns house, its empathy with its bush surroundings and use of new passive design elements as reasons for the win.

    Planchonella House was built in 2014 and is made of concrete, wood, glass and steel. The 280sq metre house sits inside the ridge line rather than dominate it and the design includes spaciousness as a priority and a courtyard as a second hub of the home.

    The house was designed and built by architect Jesse Bennett and interior designer Anne-Marie Campagnolo and is the couple’s family home.

    The judges’ citation read: “Planchonella House was designed and built by Jesse Bennett Architect with a simple idea in mind- to create joyful spaces, which inspire and enrich daily life.

    "Set in tropical north Australia, the house embraces the heritage rainforest surrounds and utilizes experimental passive design methods. The simplistic approach and use of Lo-Fi technologies results in a raw and honest dwelling.”

    The American recognition comes after the house has won numerous awards in Australia including Australian House of the Year Award in 2015 and the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture at the 2015 National Architecture Awards the same year.

    The American Architecture Prize was judged by a 36-member jury. It included two Australian architects Chris Bosse of LAVA and Leone Lorrimer of DWP Design Worldwide Partnership.

    Photo gallery: inside Planchonella House