Granny flats, tiny homes and buildings constructed after bushfires have all made the shortlist in this year’s Houses Awards. The annual celebration of residential design looks at the best contemporary homes across nine categories, judged by a panel of experts.

A few projects were selected for their response to the 2019–2020 bushfires. Y House (Andrew Simpson Architects), based on the south coast of the Otway Ranges, has rooms that respond to its surrounding landscape. Cumulus House, on the Great Ocean Road, has sweeping views thanks to Chris Connell Design’s 12-metre-wide glass windows. And an off-grid home in the Blue Mountains also made the cut.

The pandemic played its part, too, reminding the panel of the privilege of a private garden. North Fitzroy’s 8 Yard House is a family home surrounded by courtyards. Victorian architects Studio Bright used perforated brick walls and columns to make the most of its bright outdoor spaces.

Also in Victoria, Milkbar House by architects Kennedy Nolan was chosen for its example of the ways buildings can add to a community. Same too for Welsh and Major Architects’ series of homes created on the site of a derelict former hat factory in Sydney’s Newtown.

In Queensland, Three House by John Ellway was selected for its clever granny flat – showing an emerging need for adaptable shared homes across generations.

On the list there are homes that pop with colour, ones that rethink compact spaces and those that strive for more sustainable ways of living. Melbourne’s Davidson Street was chosen for its “collaborative development” model; studio Archier designed three homes on a single block in Brunswick for a neighbourhood that pooled its resources to create something new.

Winners of the Houses Awards will be announced on July 30.

See the full shortlist here.