Good Design Australia has announced winners of the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Design Awards, with an innovative and sustainable apartment block in Melbourne taking out the top prize.

Designed by Breathe Architecture, The Commons is a vertical community consisting of shared rooftop gardens, a rooftop laundry, solar hot water, electricity generation systems, bike parking and communal beehives.

At its core, the project is about people and not simply architectural form. Instead, the architecture serves as a catalyst for bringing together social responsible individuals who are striving to give back to not just their neighbours, but the broader community.

“The Commons is beautifully designed to allow us to experience living the future – a working prototype for urban living,” the awards jury commented.

Photography by Andrew Wuttke

Intended to be a replicable development, the project was the winner of the Architectural Design Category, beating the section’s 28 other finalists . It is also in the running for this year’s BPN Sustainability Awards .

Five other Best in Category awards were handed out on the night across the key disciplines of Product Design, Digital Design, Design Strategy and Communication Design.

Ideation Design won the Product Design prize with Minbie, a baby’s bottle teat with revolutionised design-functionality. Made of biocompatible soft silicone, the innovation offers a new level of support for a newborn’s digestion.

The Victorian Premier’s Design Awards is an annual program that celebrates the best of Victorian design and innovation, providing a platform for Victorian designers and businesses to showcase their best work to a national and international audience.

Best in Category Winners:


Better Ways to Bank

Designed by: Deloitte Digital

Commissioned by: Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)



Designed by: Ideation Design

Commissioned by: I-Sip Trading Pty Ltd


The Commons

Designed by: Breathe Architecture

Commissioned by: Small Giants


Think Ahead Exhibition About Imagining the Future at Scienceworks

Designed by: Museum Victoria Design Studios

Commissioned by: Museum Victoria/Scienceworks


Quirkii Paper Products

Designed by: Jalapeno Creative

Commissioned by: Ausinc


Smart Blocks

Designed by: Huddle Design, Digital Eskimo, Vidiris, Sustainability at Work

Commissioned by: Strata Community Australia, City of Melbourne, City of Sydney, Owners Corporation Network