The 2017 Missing Middle Design Competition asked the design industry to test government policy in the form of the draft design guide for complying development for medium density housing. The competition demonstrated how application of the draft design guide by skilled designers can support good design results across a range of housing types.

We received an overwhelming response with 111 innovative and creative entries submitted across three medium density housing types:

  • dual occupancy
  • multi-dwelling (terraces) and
  • manor houses.

A jury of six industry experts reviewed and judged the entrants. A winner, runner-up and commendation for each category was presented at the awards, with a cash prize of $10,000 for winners and $5000 for runners-up.

The jury were:

  • Peter Poulet, NSW Government Architect and Jury Chair
  • Rachel Neeson, Director, Neeson Murcutt Architects
  • Timothy Hill, Director, Partners Hill
  • Jan McCredie, Urban Design Manager, Parramatta City Council
  • Les Dickson, Building Designer

These awards showcase how better quality design will ensure new low rise medium density housing is environmentally sustainable and contributes to the existing character of an area.


The 2017 Missing Middle Design Competition called on architects and building designers to showcase their visions for the future of medium density housing in NSW. Designers participated in a competitive design-led process to apply and test the draft Medium Density Housing Code and draft Medium Density Design Guide.

The Missing Middle explained diagram



2017 Missing Middle Design Competition: Testing policy through design (PDF, 11.9 MB)
2017 Missing Middle Design Competition - Dual Occupancy (PDF, 14.6 MB)
 2017 Missing Middle Design Competition - Manor Houses (PDF, 13.7 MB)
2017 Missing Middle Design Competition - Terrace Houses (PDF, 15.3 MB)