The concept for this house was to reflect the topography and landform of the Sydney Habour basin. The house is expressed as a series of horizontal layers – the sandstone clad base echoes the stone cliffs that hug the inlets of Sydney Harbour.

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Project Name: Vaucluse House
Studio Name:
MHN. Design Union
Location: Sydney, Australia
Photography: Brett Boardman
Completion date: 2010
Building levels: 4

Vaucluse House by MHN. Design Union - Sheet1
Living Room ©Brett Boardman

The upper stories of planar white rendered forms respond to the strong northern light found in the southern hemisphere. Between the cantilevered white planes, full height low-E glazing captures the dramatic harbour views whilst maintaining a thermally efficient internal environment.

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Vaucluse House by MHN. Design Union - Sheet2
Dining Space ©Brett Boardman

There was a conscious decision to contrast precise man made materials such as steel and glass with natural materials such as the locally hewn sandstone.

Vaucluse House by MHN. Design Union - Sheet3
Exterior View ©Brett Boardman

Located in a small scale suburban street, the four storey residence incorporates its primary living areas on the top floor taking advantage of 180 degree views of the city and harbour. With exposure to the north and west and the ability to open up completely to the outside, the house has effective cross ventilation negating the use of air conditioning.

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Rethinking The Future Awards 2022