Gerringong's $5m Headland House wins HIA Australian House of the Year

A controversial multi-million-dollar home on the NSW south coast has taken out the top honour at the HIA-CSR Australian Housing Awards on Saturday.

Gerringong's Headland House, a holiday house built by Bellevarde Constructions, was awarded Australian Home of the Year and Australian Custom Built Home.

The 400-square-metre residence was designed by architect Atelier Andy Carson with a minimalist-style. With four-bedrooms and four-bathrooms, it has a sharp angular facade clad twice in stone and zinc, and cantilevered to create a gravity-defying illusion.

The contemporary structure sits upon Werri Headland with enormous, frameless windows - including 500 kilogram glass panels in a storm-viewing room. It also boasts a central courtyard with pool, lawn, seating and fire pit.

"We're lucky enough to be the builder but we rely on the tradesmen to be able to finish things to the standard that lets you win House of the Year," Stephen O'Ryan, project manager for Bellevarde, said.

While the company is based in Canberra, he said they utilised as many South Coast contractors for the construction as possible.

Headland House, Gerringong. Picture: Louise Kennerley

Headland House, Gerringong. Picture: Louise Kennerley

Extreme exposure from the elements was the toughest challenge for the builders, with strong southerly winds often hindering work.

For example, the large glass windows and doors each had to be installed by hand.

"It faces directly down the coast and wind was a day to day battle," Mr O'Ryan said.

"We get to do a lot of these high-end residential houses over a broad area. Every one is a little bit different and has its own challenges."

The property, along with a guest house, was built for Beau Neilson and her partner Jeffrey Simpson. It sits upon the 150-acre Dovecote Estate - an operating farm since 1834.

In 2017, some local residents detested the mansion's construction labeling it a "soul crime", with claims there was lack of community consultation and it was being built on sacred Aboriginal land.

Kiama Council engaged with an environmental solicitor to conduct a forensic review over several development applications lodged for Headland House, but found the correct processes and procedures had been followed.

Although its owners and their children are based in London, it's understood they intend to move into to the property upon their eventual return to the Illawarra.

For now it is a dream holiday house, which is rented for $2950 per night (including spa treatments or local organic produce).

HIA Managing Director Graham Wolfe said the awards recognise the best in the nation's residential building industry.

They acknowledge the talent of builders, contractors, designers and manufacturers who plan and construct quality new homes, apartments, townhouses, renovations, kitchens and bathrooms.

"HIA is committed to recognising our members who excel in building exceptional homes, kitchens and bathrooms," Mr Wolfe said.

"These members are reaching the highest standards in workmanship, are innovative, and pushing the boundaries with design.

"We also recognise the professional builders and business partners who are ahead of the game in customer service and business practices."