Watsons Bay House

Designed to provide generous views to the site’s extensive Sydney harbour backdrop whilst also catering to our client’s needs for security and privacy, Watsons Bay House is characterised by its contrasting traits of insularity and openness.

The irregular and angular geometry of the site on all four boundaries sparked the conceptual design strategy of tracing this asymmetrical shape with the building form, preserving as much land space as possible. Sharp corners were rounded, with generously curved edges softening the aesthetic of the building. This strategic blending of curvature and angled form is also carried to the home’s façade, the visually compelling contrast of shape enhanced by the differentiation of the white render and dark stained timber palette.

With an enhanced need for security and privacy, the house is bound by a unique design which strategically lets in an abundance of natural light while also shielding the indoor spaces from outside observation. With only one angled window facing the street, the façade of the building is ensconced without appearing barricaded, a characteristic made possible by the welcoming curvature to the building form. A large sculptural skylight in the entry foyer draws light to the bottom level of the home, and strategically placed, angled windows selectively filter light inside while maintaining concealment.

Indoors, the home’s philosophy differentiates from its externally enclosed design. Laid out to capitalise on panoramic views of Sydney Harbour which sweep across to Watson’s Bay, the living room is housed on the top floor, whilst the entrance is accessed from the ground floor, along with the garage and a bedroom area. With harbour views on every level, a lower ground floor features additional bedroom spaces and a rumpus area. Linked via an elegant spiral staircase with a circular skylight above, the thematic curvature seen in its outer form is sustained inside, the interior scheme by Lawless and Meyerson tactfully complementing the home’s external characteristics with a calming neutral palette, elucidating the influx of natural light.

Location VaucluseYear 2018Credits Photography Tom Ferguson, Interiors Lawless & Meyerson

In the spirit of reconciliation MHNDU acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.
We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.