STYLISH and sustainable tropical holiday units created in a Horsham factory won three major awards at the Northern Territory architectural awards.
Grampians Homes owner Anthony Op de Coul and project manager Matthew Op de Coul have spent the past three years working with Troppo Architects to build the portable two-bedroom structures.
In May 2015, the structures were flat-packed and trucked to Kakadu National Park.
They were then reassembled as Anbinik Kakadu Resort, which is owned and run by the Djabulukgu Association of Traditional Owners.
Anbinik Kakadu Resort was a surprise win in a category that included Darwin building Paspaley House, which was designed by the architects responsible for the extension to Paris’ Louvre.
The Trop-Pods also went on to win the people’s choice award and the Tracy memorial award, and are in the running for a national architectural award later this year.
Anthony Op de Coul said he was over the moon about the win.
“OK, it’s architecture, not building, but one doesn’t happen without the other,” he said.
The duplexes are assembled within an aircraft hangar-sized shed at Grampians Homes, then dismantled, trucked 4000 kilometres north and reassembled.
“We’re thinking all the time about the next stage and about how it will work in a remote location where there’s no hardware store, or any of the things we take for granted,” he said.
The construction team travelled with the flat-packed pods and worked with Kakadu builders on site.
Anthony said it had been an opportunity to see a very different side of Australia.
“On that last project the boys got to stay in Arnhem Land for two weeks,” he said.
Grampians Homes has since worked on projects in Gunbalanya, Cahills Crossing and Alice Springs with Troppo architects.
“As a socially and environmentally committed architectural practice we love the opportunity to work with a community-based builder”, Troppo director Phil Harris said.
Grampians homes and Troppo Architects plan to continue working together to develop the Trop-Pod idea as a green and portable small dwelling for a wider market.