One year of inspiring great design for the Sunshine Coast
  • Thursday 04 February 2021

Sunshine Coast Council’s ‘Yellow Book’ is celebrating one-year of inspiring and promoting quality design on the Sunshine Coast.

Within just 12 months the now iconic Sunshine Coast Design book has received two national design awards, a state award, and has been featured in more than 15 national, state and local publications.

More than 800 hardcover copies have been sold and distributed and the book has been accessed online from council’s website 3,550 times.

Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox has been involved with the book from inception and said he’s excited to celebrate its first anniversary.

“What a year! It wasn’t long after we launched this vibrant, eye catching book our region was moving into lockdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, however that hasn’t overshadowed the book’s launch which is evident in its many awards and demanding circulation,” Cr Cox said.

“You might be thinking what’s all the fuss over a ‘yellow book’? Sunshine Coast Design is a resource to help design homes, buildings, parks, public spaces, streets and neighbourhoods on the Sunshine Coast using a set of simple and accessible values and design principles.  

 “This book explains the whys and the hows when it comes to achieving good design on the Sunshine Coast – rather than just ‘anywhere’.

“It doesn’t push a certain architectural or landscape style, rather, it encourages the use of the values and design principles to inform good design.”

The Sunshine Coast Design book is an outcome of the Sunshine Coast Design Strategy, created in partnership with the local community, design and development industry, to strengthen the Sunshine Coast 'look and feel' to create great places for residents and visitors.

Fellow Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said the Sunshine Coast Design book was a pioneering publication and encouraged anyone who hadn’t yet read it to do so.

“Our healthy, smart and creative region includes lush hinterlands you can roam for hours, surf, sand and sun, open shady streets and an enviable sub-tropical climate. Who wouldn’t want to live here?” Cr Suarez said.

“As the Sunshine Coast becomes one of Australia’s most desirable places to live, as a council we need to encourage design that reflects our region’s values and characteristics, so it remains a very special place.

“Our ‘yellow book’ shares ideas on how to create a lifestyle that connects residents to nature and encourages design specifically for our region, as home and building design that are built in other states aren’t always the best fit for our climate.”  

Coolum based Majstorovic Architecture features in the ‘Yellow Book’ with the design of ‘Breezeway’ and ‘Yaroomba House’ (pictured) which exemplify the Sunshine Coast design principles.

“I use the ‘Yellow Book’ to reinforce all of the passive design values I have employed in my work for the past 35 years,” Majstorovic Architecture Director Dragi Majstorovic said.

“These passive elements which are fortunately in abundance in our sub-tropical locale are not to be taken for granted, rather, they should be ‘built in’ to our architecture and buildings.

“The ability for a house to maintain passive thermal comfort throughout the year between 22-26 degrees is an absolute joy to live in, and many clients who thought that air-conditioning systems were a must in this climate are pleasantly surprised how this “myth” can be designed out of the building with correct shading and window placement, orientation and elevation.”

You can celebrate this first anniversary milestone with us by downloading the ‘yellow book’ for free on council’s website, borrowing it from your local library or have your very own by purchasing a hardcover copy from select bookshops or council’s Customer Service Centres.



  • Gold Good Design Award at the Good Design Australia Awards 2020

  • Research, Policy & Communications at the 2020 National Landscape Architecture Awards 2020

  • Research, Policy & Communications at the 2020 Qld Landscape Architecture Awards 2020


Four key values of the Sunshine Coast Design Book:

1. We love our climate

2. We live within and cherish our landscape

3. We treasure our ocean, beaches and waterways

4. We are a community of communities.


Ten design principles developed to protect and promote the values:

1. Work with the local climate

2. Create places that respect and incorporate landscape

3. Bring our cultures, arts and heritage to life

4. Capture and frame views and create vistas

5. Strengthen and extend a network of green corridors

6. Be inspired by the natural and built environment

7. Create shady streets that put people first

8. Create welcoming places that can be enjoyed by everyone

9. Design places to be resilient and ready for change

10. Create and add value.


IMAGE: Breezeway House by Majstorovic Architecture. Image courtesy of Wayne Barbe.