'Chatterbox' wins Lysaght Student Design Award

Lysaght’s Inspirations Design Awards have shed light on some of our country’s up and coming architects and designers, with judges having to sift through dozens of high quality entrants, before announcing Sandra Clarke as the Student Design Winner.

A recent graduate of Granville TAFE in New South Wales, Sandra’s winning design called ‘Chatterbox House’, took styling cues from the Sydney Opera House as well as an origami chatterbox, to create stunning rooflines for her submission.

Materials chosen for the project included EASYCLAD®, made from COLORBOND® Metallic steel in the colour Cosmic® and corrugated CUSTOM ORB®, made from COLORBOND® steel in the colour DUNE®, for all roofing.

Design highlights include steep roof pitches that vary from 22.5 to 66 degrees and with exception of the valleys, the house is a gutter and downpipe-free home, instead relying on strategically-placed rain collection points.

“My inspiration was a roof that makes a feature of the rain – as a child, I liked to watch the rain collecting in puddles and running off down the street in random pathways,” Sandra said.

“The home’s pitches cast a myriad of shadows at different times of the year which are quite fascinating. The use of multiple pitches lends itself to CUSTOM ORB®, which in itself, casts its own mini shadows within each groove.”

Sandra's journey into the design and architecture field has come through a different path to most. Having spent 25 years working as a nurse, she decided to pursue her childhood passion for buildings, drawing and architecture, and enrolled in the building design course at Hornsby TAFE and finished her second year at Granville TAFE.

“I was always interested in buildings and architecture and drew in my spare time,” Sandra said.

“Over the past 10 years I worked as a nurse visiting patients in their homes and during this time saw many stunning buildings as well as the not so glamorous, and this increased my interest in buildings – I then stumbled across the course at TAFE and decided to enrol.”

Since winning the Lysaght Inspiration Design Award, Sandra has begun casual employment with a local building design company – Fyffe Designs.

“I encourage students to get involved in future Lysaght awards and also encourage educational institutes to promote the competition to their students, it’s a great experience and the prize money is substantial,” Sandra said.


Regular cleaning of COLORBOND® steel products in unwashed areas that are sheltered from rain washing (such as wall cladding under eaves) is required. BlueScope recommends washing should be done at least six monthly, or three monthly in locations such as coastal areas where marine salt spray is prevalent, or in areas where high levels of airborne dust/dirt or industrial fallout occur. For further information please refer to BlueScope Technical Bulletin 4 (TB4): Maintenance of exterior BlueScope coated steel products


Lysaght media release - March 2021
Sandra Clarke - Graduate, Granville TAFE
Trademark Acknowledgements:
COLORBOND®, EASYCLAD®, CUSTOM ORB® and ® colour names are registered trademarks of BlueScope Steel Limited, ABN 16 000 011 058.

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