Palm Beach House


2008 The Sydney Magazine Sydney’s (Best) Houses

2006 Winner NSW Board of Architects Client Services Award

2006 Finalist RAIA Wilkinson Award


This Palm Beach holiday house and potential future permanent residence sits elevated and floating on a north east facing ridge overlooking Sydney’s famous coastline from Palm Beach to Barrenjoey House.

Situated on this stunning natural site, the project presented opportunities to explore the sculptural and elemental qualities of the beach house, creating a seamless connection and interplay between the interior and exterior of the spectacular landscape.

With 180 degree panoramic views to the north, the house essentially allows for complete transparency in this direction with large operable glazed openings and dramatic cantilevered roofs. To the south, the rear of the house encapsulates a sheltered courtyard with a pond providing a more intimate connection to the site, and providing shelter from the street. The space becomes both cave and platform, as it offers both retreat; from the elements and from the chaos of life; and exposure; as it embraces the beauty of the all encompassing site.

In close collaboration with Stephen Collins Interior Design, the interior of the building communicates a restrained but playful luxuriousness that is inviting in its textures, colours and finishes. On the lower level, which provides a family theatre, services and guest accomodation, the plywood panels connect to the surrounding bushland that has been carefully regenerated and landscaped. Meanwhile, the bright colours and Missoni prints of the interior design create a vibrant and dynamic space, bringing a sense of enjoyment to the holiday house.

Ultimately, integral to envisioning and creating this space was a thorough understanding of the role of the house as a haven, protected from the turbulence of our general life. Receiving a significant amount of attention, this ambitious and stunning Palm Beach holiday house becomes the ultimate retreat for a large family.

Photography: Brett BoardmanĀ