Hill House’s existing skillion roofs intimately enclose an interior against the hillside and amplify the harbour presence from beyond. The renovation works enhance this spatial quality and sense of connectedness with the surrounds. Whilst only minor surgical demolition was needed to reorganise and join with the outdoors, Hill House is completely resurfaced with a natural palette. A durable exterior of concrete, stone and zinc will patina and blend with the landscape tones. The new materials revitalise the existing house and preserve the structure for many years to come. Through finely framed glazing, the harbour sights and colours spill indoors. The water’s soft blue reflections animate an interior of warm timber joinery, oak horizontal planes, crisp white vaulted volumes, and soft shear curtains.

A new concrete podium is added that anchors Hill House to the sandstone escarpment. Its horizontal form grounds the soaring roof planes above. The podium’s terraced levels and a generous staircase bring the pool and lower garden within easy reach of the raised interior. Carved within the concrete mass are a cellar, sauna, and entertaining room. The cliff-face’s sandstone surface is revealed with these cave-like rooms. Temperature is moderated by mass and earth. The podium roof is an expansive teak surface made seamless with inside. The low seating edge mimics a boat deck to feel the harbour without interruption.  Â

By Toby Breakspear, Tiffany Liew, Ciaran Acton, 2016-2020. Built by A.M. Custom Builders. Structural Engineering by Partridge.