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Winners of 2023 Fleetwood Challenge Cup announced

Winners of 2023 Fleetwood Challenge Cup announced

The winners of the 2023 Fleetwood Challenge Cup – developed by modular building industry peak body prefabAUS and Fleetwood Australia – have been announced.

The Challenge Cup is a national design competition that provides university teams across Australia, made up of both architectural and engineering students, with the opportunity to demonstrate creative and innovative solutions, unmatched by traditional construction.

Hexad Studios from Monash University entered a beehive-inspired design for Malvern East in Victoria, while Quokka Quarters and The Baleen entries from Curtin University put forward bold plans for the redevelopment of a tourist facility on Western Australia’s Rottnest Island.

Quokka Quarters was announced as the overall winner of the $7,000 first prize at the prefabAUS national conference, Offsite 2023 at Melbourne Connect in Victoria, with The Baleen placing second and scoring a $3,500 prize and an additional $2,000 as the winner of the Fleetwood Industry Award. The Hexad Studio team from Monash University took out third place, receiving $2,500 and the prestigious People’s Choice Award.

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Fleetwood Australia CEO Bruce Nicholson congratulated the finalists on their outstanding work, which was admired by attendees at Offsite 23, the industry conference for the modular building industry in Australia.

“Modular building and prefabrication have huge roles to play in tackling the world’s housing challenges and the calibre of entries for this year’s Challenge Cup shows the even brighter future that lies ahead for our industry,” Nicholson said. “All of the finalists received strong praise from the judges, which is reflective of the extremely high standard of entries for the 2023 Fleetwood Challenge Cup.”

“The saying goes that there can only be one winner, but I think all this year’s entries highlight the value of modular building to swiftly address housing and community needs, as well as the ingenuity of our future built environment professionals.

“The Hexad Studio from Monash University came up with a striking honeycomb design inspired by nature, offering great versatility in combining residential and retail spaces while delivering a stunning aesthetic.”

Nicholson said first prize winner Quokka Quarters placed a high focus on attention to detail in designing a sustainable and community-orientated future solution for the Pedal&Flippers bike hire facility.

“The modern design integrated with native flora and fauna, while also referencing Aboriginal cultural heritage,” added Nicholson. “It’s fantastic to see the versatility, adaptability and sustainability of modular building showcased in such a fashion.”

prefabAUS Executive Chair Damien Crough said the judging panel had been greatly impressed by the quality of all designs but particularly the finalists.

“There’s a real sense of innovation and inspiration that shines through in all entries,” Crough said. “In the case of our runner-up, The Baleen, there is a really interesting and intriguing focus on creating a design that can be shared via open-source software, with potential to make a positive community impact anywhere in the world.”

“On behalf of both Fleetwood Australia and prefabAUS, I’d like to thank everyone who was involved in the 2023 Challenge Cup: the universities who support the event, our very talented judges who donate their time and, of course, the wonderful students all over Australia who are the future of our industry.

“I can’t wait for the 2024 event.”

The winners

First place: Quokka Quarters  

The proposed Quokka Quarters redevelopment of Pedal & Flipper retail complex on Rottnest Island seeks to meet growing demand for sustainable, community-orientated developments, with two floors of residential units sitting above a two-floor hire facility that aims to promote bike culture and other tourist and visitor-friendly activities. The design integrates Indigenous perspectives acknowledging the cultural history of the land, while also focusing on sustainable materials that have a minimal environmental footprint and contribute towards net zero aspirations.

2023 Fleetwood Challenge Cup winner
Quokka Quarters.
Second place: The Baleen  

The Baleen project imagines not just holiday accommodation apartments on Wadjemup (Rottnest Island) using open-source architecture that is helping to drive a positive global impact. The modular construction system can be shared, downloaded and assembled anywhere in the world via creative commons, helping developing countries progress net zero aspirations. Modules are designed to have life beyond their initial location: easily reconfigured, disassembled and reimagined, put on a shipping container to assist with disaster relief or even flat-packed and kept in storage until needed.

2023 Fleetwood Challenge Cup 2nd place
The Baleen.
Third place: Hexad Studio

Using inspiration from the honeycomb structure in beehives, the Hexa-Cell Residence on Waverley Road in Malvern East in Melbourne showcases innovative, cost-effective, and sustainable architecture. Comprising one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, Hexa-Cell also hosts shared facilities on the ground floor, fostering community among residents and local inhabitants. Notably, the modules are incredibly adaptable; residents can customise their living spaces, adding or removing modules as required.

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