Judges Comments: Lake Macquarie Home

Quality of Workmanship

  • This is an incredibly well detailed and constructed project.
  • Excellence of the highest standard is evident throughout this very impressive modern home from construction techniques and methodology to detailing and finishes.
  • This difficult steep site on the edge of Lake Macquarie would have proven to be a real challenge for both Architect and Builder.
  • The final result involved saw cutting through conglomerate rock providing not only a stable foundation but a visual delight as the design included viewing windows from the Rumpus room back to the floodlit rock face.
  • The building steps down from street level through four levels to arrive at the water’s edge with sandstone landscaped gardens and boatshed.
  • The design carries a nautical theme throughout with recycled black butt structural timber connected using custom made stainless steel flush finish plates and fittings.
  • Open timber stairs with stainless steel wire balustrade and caulked timber flooring add to the marine technology adopted.

Design Effectiveness

  • The building houses two pavilions linked by a central stair and lift.
  • The level change from street to the lower deck is over 8 metres and then further to the existing boatshed.
  • Each level and room is well zoned with clear links as level changes occur.
  • Upper levels open onto operable roofed shaded decks using folding doors and windows from kitchen and living rooms.
  • Progressing down to the next level which contains sleeping accommodation the bedrooms again open onto decks via folding doors.
  • One bedroom with an interesting outlook back onto the stone excavation.
  • Further down the Rumpus room has views both to the lake and back to the sawn cut rock face which would be stunning when floodlit at night.
  • The Rumpus then opens out onto a BBQ and outside dining area above the existing boathouse.
  • Landscaped gardens and sandstone retaining walls then connect the site to the lake.

Visual Appeal

  • There is little evidence of the complexity of the design from the street.
  • Only one level is visible with two floating monoplane roofs appearing above street level.
  • The entry is connected to the footpath via a footbridge providing an exciting entry into the foyer.
  • The low scale street elevation sits comfortable within the streetscape.
  • It is flanked on one side by the garages and the other by a strategically located and screened service court housing a drying court, garbage and gas bottle storage, which is not obvious but has direct access to the footpath.
  • Internal progression through the house is an exciting journey with lake views from each level and dramatic views back into the cut rock face.


  • Innovative construction and design is obvious through the entire building.
  • Just to prepare the site would have taken enormous skill with carefully cut stone foundation and crane usage to remove and supply material.
  • The craftsmanship exhibited to combine timber, stainless steel fixings, steel and gas in a complex design is evidence of highly skilled construction team.
  • The finish to all aspects of this house is of complex design is evidence of highly skilled construction team.
  • The finish to all aspects of this house is of a very high standard indeed.
  • The use of full height plantation shutter sliding panels provided privacy and weather protection.
  • Operable roofs to upper decks provide maximum flexibility in varying conditions.

Environmental Sustainability

  •  Inclusions below demonstrate considerable input to environmental considerations.
  • 5000l rainwater storage for landscaping and laundry use
  • Gas 6 star instantaneous HWS; gas cooktop
  •  LED lighting and compact fluoro lighting
  • Natural ventilation throughout assisted by mechanical vent to Kitchen, Bathrooms and Laundry.
  • Single phase (5.5 star) AC, wood heater, and ceiling fans to bedrooms.
  • Low water use indigenous planting to landscaped areas.

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