Higgins Crescent Project | Joanna Nelson Architect

2020 ACT Architecture Awards

Higgins Crescent Project | Joanna Nelson Architect | Anthony Basheer

2020 ACT Architecture Awards: People's Choice

Higgins Crescent Project | Joanna Nelson Architect

Residential Architecture - Houses (Alterations and Additions)

An existing house and outbuilding on a large corner block in an inner Canberra suburb are joined by new companion structures to create an intricate ensemble. Radical design changes are made inside the house (built in 1928 as a maternity hospital and later used as a migrant hostel) to overcome intractable amenity shortfalls – providing more light and storage, redefining the back as the front entrance and connecting the house more strongly to its extensive garden. The outbuilding is repurposed as a self-contained studio, offering a contrasting experience to the house, while a new garage, glasshouse, terrace and toolshed are positioned to define entry courts to house and studio and create private garden spaces.

The principle architectural idea is to retain the considerable embodied energy – cultural and material – of the house and outbuilding and to create strong counterpoints in the design of new internal elements and external structures and spaces.

Higgins Crescent Project | Joanna Nelson Architect | Anthony Basheer


Practice team

Alex Gray – Drafting assistant

Wojtek Swietlik – Drafting assistant


Impact Constructions Pty Ltd – Builder

ANH Consulting Engineers Pty Ltd – Structural Engineer

Certified Building Solutions Pty Ltd – Building Surveyor

Anthony Basheer – Photographer

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