A home featuring a cliff-edge pool in Bayview on Sydney’s northern beaches has been crowned the 2018 Australian House of the Year in the Houses Awards.
Selected by a panel of distinguished industry experts, Cabbage Tree House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture is a unique, cave-like abode that responds to the landscape, defies residential norms and features a dramatic swimming pool that makes the most of the indoor/outdoor space.
Each year, the Houses Awards uncover the best Australian residential architecture and design. The program recognises how existing and emerging professionals embrace architectural challenges while developing the meaning of “home”.
The judges said the Cabbage Tree House is a remarkable, complete Australian house that authentically and poetically embraces its landscape setting on Sydney’s northern beaches. Anchored in a rock shelf, the masonry structure leans back into the hillside as a “physical manifesto of the character of its place.”
Internally, the home has cave-like qualities. It is a sanctuary away from city life and is connected to the landscape. The scale of the building is broken down into smaller spaces of retreat and seclusion – all with views into vast bushland. Exposed concrete, steel and brickwork gives the impression of permanence and longevity, as well as having thermal mass benefits. The home is intended for comfort in all seasons: it captures cool breezes from the east in summer and is splayed to the north toward the winter sun.
Although this house is undeniably an impressive piece of architecture, it has the warmth, layers and inhabitation of a welcoming home. Every design detail is considered – from the circular skylights that give glimpses of blue skies above, to the handcrafted timber handrail to the stair. It is a house through which one can reconnect with nature – not as a museum piece, but as a home to be lived in.
This home is the Australian House of the Year for it timeless qualities, impressive sculptural forms and connection to place.
And of course, no home that possesses a unique Australian quality would be complete without a swimming pool. The Cabbage Tree pool is a place where you can relax surrounded by the palms, sipping on the breeze as it wafts up the valley from Pittwater.