This house was built for a young couple on land once occupied by an old cottage and originally purchased for construction of a tennis court for the adjoining house which belongs to the client’s father.
The site is a steeply sloping, waterfront ‘battleaxe’ block accessed by a long narrow driveway from the street. The location of the house was principally determined by the competing objectives of accommodating a vehicle turning area at the end of the driveway (the dimensional requirements of which tended to push the house down the site) and a desire to elevate the house as much as possible to preserve and enhance existing views to the south west over the Parramatta River (the latter tending to push the house up the site).
Because of the orientation of the site, the direction of the views and the direction of the slope, northern exposure was difficult to achieve. A small, north facing courtyard was therefore provided on two levels at the rear of the site adjacent the turning apron but at a lower level.
This courtyard is intimate in scale and provides an outlook to the rear for the dining room and the breakfast room.
The house is split in the northwest, southeast direction in response to the site contours. A central stair extends from the car port level down through the house towards the view stopping at half levels to serve the functional grouping of the various spaces. In this way, the living room has a one and a half storey height emphasising the importance of its position within the house. The living room is overlooked by the dining room a half level above. A large open terrace is provided adjoining the living room and facing the expansive view.
The lower two levels contain bedrooms, a family room and bathrooms, the latter located back against the cliff face and the former opening out on to a retained flat, paved area incorporating a small swimming pool.
The house is constructed of load bearing, split face concrete masonry and circular steel columns supporting reinforced concrete floors and roof.