It's swoon-worthy, so hardly surprising then that Daniel Briffa's The Run Way design at Blaxland ticked all the boxes in the recent national Building Designers Australia awards.
Mr Briffa of Penrith was just one of a trio of building designers from the Mountains/Nepean region who won their categories at the Australia National Conference in Hobart late last month.
Mr Briffa of Adan Creative Designs won the new residential buildings over 450sqm and under $2000 per sqm for The Run Way, filling the brief of contemporary architecture fans, Graham and Anne Doyle.
Recruitment manager Grahame Doyle said their building designer had captured the "resort style" feel they were after for the modern home with a pool and pavilion out the front of their one acre property.
"We love it.
"We didn't even know Daniel had put our home in [for nomination]. He told me last week that he tends not to tell the owners [to avoid disappointment]. We've become good friends and since he finished our house, he's designed homes for a few friends of ours."
Mr Briffa was delighted by his win, his third national award.
"It's a wonderful feeling ...to be recognised in this way is always uplifting and confidence boosting.
"The Run Way, nestled into a valley, features many expansive living, sleeping and entertaining areas for a family who likes to spread out," Mr Briffa said.
"From the very beginning, the clients and I seemed to be in sync with each other. There was very little that I proposed to them that they didn't like.
"Its contemporary design, including pool and pool pavilion, have achieved resort style living, capitalising on the tranquillity of the area. It has design features to minimise the threat of bushfire ember attack, as well as striking a stunning pose amongst its surroundings."
Wentworth Falls resident Mark Davis, of Mark Davis Design, won the residential alterations category for up to $250,000 with his 'Bullaburra addition', while Kirstie Wulf of Hazelbrook from the company Shelter Building Design took out the new residential buildings up to 250sqm and under $2000 per sqm category for her 'Culburra Hemp House' on the far South Coast.
Mr Davis said he was equally thrilled about the win, his second in three years. The Bullaburra addition was "on a difficult site in a flame zone area".
He dramatically expanded the small mountains cottage into a solar passive home, giving the owners practical indoor and outdoor entertaining areas with a new pavilion, courtyard deck, complementary high pitched roofs - to create "a sustainable home which also maximises functionality".
"It was amazing to win another award; its very exciting and I feel very honoured."
Ms Wulf's South Coast building design has Japanese influences with pitched roofs and walls made from hemp to minimise its ecological footprint.
"I was thrilled to win the award and extremely proud as I both designed and built the Culburra Hemp House.
"Careful thought went into every detail to ensure it would be low maintenance and low energy. As building with hemp is still relatively new, the award is also a win for hemp, showing that beautiful contemporary homes can be built using natural, renewable materials," she said.
Building Designers Australia is one of the leading building designer associations. All three winners are members of the Greater Western Sydney chapter of BDA. More details at: www.bdaa.com.au.