James Birrell won a major honour for his work on Domic, a home a Sunshine Beach at the 2020 QLD Landscape Architecture Awards.
James Birrell won a major honour for his work on Domic, a home a Sunshine Beach at the 2020 QLD Landscape Architecture Awards.

$18m ‘eco lair’ in line for national award

AN $18 million eco lair constructed over five "challenging" years into sand dunes at Sunshine Beach is in line for a national landscape architecture award.

James Birrell Design Lab created Domic, which won an award of excellence at the 2020 Queensland Landscape Architecture Awards earlier this week.

Mr Birrell said he had first been presented hand drawn sketches of the plans back in 2014,

The "special" project was his pride and joy for five years.

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James Birrell won a major honour for his work on Domic, a home a Sunshine Beach at the 2020 QLD Landscape Architecture Awards.
James Birrell won a major honour for his work on Domic, a home a Sunshine Beach at the 2020 QLD Landscape Architecture Awards.

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"It's a very unique, beautiful but also innovative garden landscape. What is does, is help put landscape in the spotlight of mainstream society," Mr Birrell said.

"Particularly in an age of eco-friendliness."

Mr Birrell said the lair complemented the Noosa surroundings to a tee.

"Because it is tucked up next the beach and the national park, we wanted to make it feel apart," he said.

"So we had to use the native vegetation to create this wonderful ecosystem for all the critters.

"The whole thing was a challenge, plenty. We had to design a new way of having green walls and green rooves to hide the building.

 

James Birrell won a major honour for his work on Domic, a home a Sunshine Beach at the 2020 QLD Landscape Architecture Awards.
James Birrell won a major honour for his work on Domic, a home a Sunshine Beach at the 2020 QLD Landscape Architecture Awards.

 

"It took everything I have learned over my career to do it."

As much as the award means to him, Mr Birrell said watching the home grow over time was priceless.

"I am so very proud of it. But it is in its infancy, it's a baby," he said.

"I am looking forward to seeing it grow. I can't wait to come back in 20-30 years time and see it."

AILA Queensland chapter president David Uhlmann noted the recent focus on landscape architecture as a result of COVID-19.

 

James Birrell won a major honour for his work on Domic, a home a Sunshine Beach at the 2020 QLD Landscape Architecture Awards.
James Birrell won a major honour for his work on Domic, a home a Sunshine Beach at the 2020 QLD Landscape Architecture Awards.

 

"With people spending more time enjoying local parks, backyards, and green spaces, landscape architecture has been brought to the forefront … the pandemic has highlighted the importance now, more than ever," he said.

"We believe there has been a new-found realisation of the importance of green space and active travel opportunities that are complementary to essential infrastructure, not only in our city centres, but also in our neighbourhoods, and surrounding our homes.

"These outdoor destinations are playing a huge role in social recovery as we begin to step out from the COVID-19 pandemic."



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