In a neighbourhood where most houses stare at the harbour view from enormous glass facades, Hill House’s 35 degree skillion roofs create a quieter dwelling in far richer dialogue with the surrounding landscape. Hill House’s roofs intimately enclose an interior against the hill-side. The renovation works enhance this spatial quality and sense of connectedness with the site. Whilst only minor surgical demolition is 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. Through finely framed glazing, the harbour’s presence spills 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 encased 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.

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