Plaster Fun House
An art deco-inspired addition to a traditional Adelaide workers’ cottage, the Plaster Fun House by Sans-Arc Studio is a playful yet refined home that finds great joy in detail.
Cabbage Tree House
Peter Stutchbury Architecture
Emerging from the hillside, Cabbage Tree House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture is a built manifestation of place, whose purpose is to heighten the understanding and emotional experience of the land that informs the architecture.
In an urban context, connection between the land, people, and the buildings they inhabit is often lost. Edgars Creek House by Breathe Architecture is a rare example of a home whose design offers a reconnection with the essential qualities of a landscape almost entirely superseded by the encroaching built environment.
Redwood encompasses two primary buildings that occupy the site in Balmain, above Sydney Harbour. One, a 19th-century sandstone cottage, is the clients’ family home. The other, a lithe yet structured new contemporary addition, is dedicated to hosting formal gatherings. Though deliberately separate, the two share a rapport that creates a full and rounded experience of the site, the architecture, and the view.
A stone wall emerges from the ridge to become the central spine between two pavilions, one open, the other closed. Just as the wall seems almost to have been excavated from the ground, Cheshire Architects’ Waiheke House was conceived less as the outcome of a design process and more as a discovery, arrived at through heuristic exploration.
Though Paul Couch has maintained a low profile throughout his long career, his work has been quietly revered over the years by those who have encountered it. A mixed-use building in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, Cremasco House is a prominent later project in the oeuvre of an architect whose work is only now beginning to be given deeper consideration.
No architecture can make a landscape as soul-stirringly beautiful as the coastline of the Tasman Peninsula more powerful, but the right building can distil and heighten the experience of inhabiting such a place. Setting out to capture the elemental qualities of this experience, Room11 took a reductive approach to the design until all that remained of the building were four glass walls and two parallel planes of equal area that offer shelter overhead and support underfoot. The resulting glass pavilion sits as an object in the landscape, its exposed nature intensifying awareness of the site’s nuances.
Richards & Spence
La Scala tells the story of an ambitious vision for a small site tucked into an inner-city pocket of Brisbane. The home of architects Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence, it is a building that challenges assumptions about residential architecture, subtropical design and the use of urban sites to craft a more adaptable, enduring and exciting response. With its arches, colonnades and terraces that seem to emerge from beneath vegetation, the architects’ description of La Scala as a “future ruin” is apt, capturing the sense that the building is not just contemporary but innovative and forward-thinking on the one hand, while somehow feeling almost ancient on the other.
Barwon Heads House
Adam Kane Architects
olstering an existing weatherboard cottage, Adam Kane Architects takes cues from the home’s coastal milieu to conjure Barwon Heads House as a series of meditative and reductive spaces of retreat. Textural and moody, the select materiality comprising Barwon Heads House speaks to a sense of refuge and calm, further emphasised through the open meditative spaces and compressed intimate areas dotted throughout. In its coastal setting, the inherited cottage needed to better respond to its context by reviving its tired weatherboard composition.
Wood Marsh Architecture
On an unassuming residential street in Caulfield, in Melbourne’s east, stands a vast concrete and glass sculpture, a foreign object in a suburban setting. With a stainless-steel door set into its side the only indication as to its nature, Gottlieb House is as intriguing today as it was 30 years ago when Wood Marsh designed the building. Much can be made of the way that the design eschews every convention of residential architecture, challenging all expectations of what a house should be.
John Wardle Architects
Narrative is intrinsic to John Wardle Architects’ work. The overarching historical, geographical and cultural narratives inherent in a place, a material, a craft; the more particular stories that lie behind a site; and those accumulated through the process of inhabitation or occupation – each is indelibly linked to the architecture’s physical qualities. Kew Residence, the home John Wardle has lived in with his family for 30 years and which has been recently renovated, represents a project in which each of these many layers is further interwoven with decades of lived experience.
Presenting on approach as a dark box-like form, Chenier is a shadowy, enigmatic presence that seems almost conscientiously apart from the site it hovers above. But the series of rendered blade walls that sit adjacent to and are glimpsed beyond this volume hint to the complex relationship between building and landscape that Eastop Architects has orchestrated, not breaking down the distinction but rather interpolating the two to extend and intensify the experience of both.
Pearl Beach House
Polly Harbison Design
A small clearing in the bushland around Pearl Beach provides a reprieve from the density of the vegetation that obscures the sky above. Within this clearing, Polly Harbison Design has placed a building whose monumental qualities echo the scale of the surrounding forest and are representative of the recent marked shift in the relationship between architecture and such bushfire-prone environments.
Aligning as a considered sequence of nomadic forms sculpting its own rural street, Pouaka Waikura sits anchored to its site, extending a vernacular familiar and resonant to its owners. Taking a unique approach to a beguiling site, Patterson Associates’ deliberately simplified methodology creates an intuitive connection to place.
When it was completed in 2018, Hawthorn House epitomised Edition Office’s aptitude for balancing austerity and theatre through the medium of architecture.Described by the studio as a “grand outdoor theatre for living”, the building is defined by two pavilions ensconced in a graceful concrete shroud that emphasises astonishing lightness through its minimal contact with the ground.
House at Flat Rock
The first impression of House at Flat Rock is not a house at all, but rather a densely planted meadow-like garden that spills out to the street. To the fore of the site, on the east, stands a group of mature olive trees and behind, to the west, the presence of Conjola National Park looms large. Linking the two, a narrow stone-paved path traverses the northern edge of the meadow. This arrangement defines the most immediate and prescient qualities of the context whereby the building – a discreet series of volumes strung along three edges of the site – is experienced. It is an abiding humility that informs each considered gesture and remarkable detail of a home whose appointed purpose is to create a complete immersion in nature.
John Wardle Architects
Two buildings companionably occupy a hillside at Waterview, a historic 540-hectare sheep farm on Tasmania’s Bruny Island. Though both were completed within the last decade – The Shearers Quarters in 2012 and Captain Kelly’s Cottage in 2016 – each is superimposed upon traces of what came before, some physically evident and others mere ghosts of memory. The much-lauded work of John Wardle Architects, the buildings embody the intersection of both the site’s layers of history and its contemporary evolution, as over the past 20 years it has been extensively revegetated and become something of a testing ground for the practice.
James Stockwell Architect
The earth-filled concrete plates of Bunkeren are balanced carefully on a coastal site within the unceded lands of the Awabakal people in Whitebridge, a southern suburb of Newcastle. The project is an incredibly photogenic study in concrete textures and form, containing subtle nods to the kinds of architectural references one might expect from a collaboration between experienced architect James Stockwell and Danish-Australian clients with an eye for design. Yet the building is far more than just finely crafted details and dramatic concrete cantilevers. At its heart, Bunkeren attempts to actively dismantle the object qualities of the architecture in favour of ambiguous, landscape-driven spaces of discovery and inhabitation.
As a capture of the ebb and flow of the seasons and the removed siting of the structure, Coromandel Bach has been opening and closing to the elements for the past 21 years. The responsive and adaptive insertion in the landscape is the beach house that Ken Crosson, Founding Director of Crosson Architects, designed for his family and has been sharing with them ever since.
Peter Stutchbury Architecture
Backdune House sits within the unceded lands of the Garigal people on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Whilst exploring scale and solidity, the building continues Peter Stutchbury Architecture’s decades-long experimentation with the experiential qualities of tent architecture.
St Vincent's Place
The lush revival of St Vincent’s Place is the culmination of B.E Architecture’s bespoke and collaborative approach to design over the last 20 years. Both a confirmation and reminder of the responsibility when working in a heritage context, it also embodies the significance of coactively engaging at all stages of the design and construction process.
Opposing convention, Light Mine looks upwards and brings the formal language of its coastal situation with it. Reaching towards the sky to ‘mine’ light and bring it deep into the interior volumes, the traditional means by which elements are extracted is turned on its head. Crosson Architects opens the roof to the sky and, in doing so, infuses the home with an experience that is about more than just the view.