Award winning book inspires design for our Sunshine Coast lifestyle
  • Friday 25 September 2020

If you’re thinking about building, renovating or doing some DIY around the house, be sure to get your hands on Sunshine Coast Council’s new design book before you get started.

The Sunshine Coast Design book – which recently won an award for Research, Policy and Communications at the 2020 Queensland Landscape Architecture Awards and a coveted Gold Good Design Award at the Good Design Australia Awards – provides design ideas and seeks to inspire designs that complement our region’s environment, sub-tropical climate and identity. 

Sunshine Coast Council Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said the design book demonstrated council’s commitment to encouraging and promoting good design. 

“Since its launch earlier this year, the design and development industry has applauded council for our foresight in developing this resource,” Cr Cox said.

“But this book isn’t just for professionals, it’s for anyone interested in design and creating liveable buildings and spaces. 

“The Sunshine Coast Design book is an outcome of the Sunshine Coast Design Strategy, which was created by council in collaboration with our residents, the design and development industry and community groups to identify what we all love about the Sunshine Coast.

“From these discussions, four values and 10 design principles were established.” 

Cr Cox said the values and principles offered a guide for good Sunshine Coast design – and what is good design?  

“Well, good design echoes our region’s core characteristics while enhancing and protecting what our community loves most.

“Council has been leading the way as these design principles guide all our projects and contribute to achieving our vision to become Australia’s most sustainable region – healthy, smart and creative.” 

Fellow Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said the Sunshine Coast Design book provided a guide for council, industry and community to make design decisions that take advantage of our wonderful surroundings. 

“As outlined in council’s Environment and Liveability Strategy, sustainable design has the ability to improve our, health, wellbeing and productivity and can even make our buildings more affordable, responsive and resilient,” Cr Suarez said. 

“The design book is a wonderful resource for achieving good design for our communities, neighbourhoods, buildings, streets and spaces. 

“It helps protect the things we value about our region as our economy grows and our climate changes.

“It’s also a beautifully striking book, with 150 vivid and scenic photos of special places and well-designed buildings on the Sunshine Coast. It’s sure to make you feel connected and proud to live in this wonderful part of the world.”

Coordinating the development of the design book was Sunshine Coast Council Design and Placemaking Manager Sarah Chalkley, who said the book was intended to raise awareness about the benefit of good design and how to best design for our region. 

“We want buildings on the Sunshine Coast to have eaves and awnings to provide shade, doors and windows that open up to let the sea breeze in and indoor living spaces that flow onto outdoor decks or patios to make the most of our indoor-outdoor lifestyle,” Ms Chalkley said. 

“The design book is not only for use by design professionals, but it’s a valuable community resource that can be used by anyone designing or renovating.   

“While the book is about encouraging great design on the Sunshine Coast, it’s also about inspiring and raising awareness about place-based design in cities and communities throughout the country. 

“Across Australia buildings and homes are popping up that don’t relate to the place, the climate or the landscape – and as a result the sense of place is being lost to a cookie cutter building design approach. 

“We need to encourage design that relates to each city or regions climate and landscape.

“The same houses being built in outer Melbourne or Sydney won’t necessarily be suitable for the Sunshine Coast or Townsville and vice-versa. 

“Having a place-based design can positively influence our lives socially, economically and environmentally. Good designs can make us healthier and happier and in the long run save us money.”

Ms Chalkley said what the community loved most about the Sunshine Coast today, should influence what we create tomorrow.

“I hope our approach to design inspires other towns, communities and council’s across Australia to do the same.”  

The Sunshine Coast design book is free to download or view online – visit

To get your hands on a hardcover copy of the Sunshine Coast Design book visit one of the following locations, where it is available to purchase for $50:
Folio Books
Harry Harthog
Nambour Book Exchange
Sunshine Coast Council Customer Contact Centres.

Image: Piccabeen Green at Palmwoods is featured in the Sunshine Coast Design book (photographer Greg Gardner)