Vaucluse House


  • Interiors
  • Residential




This house provides a peaceful family retreat within the bounds of the property by creating interior spaces that maintain a strong connection to the garden. While the spaces are calm and serene, there is a sense of grandeur for the occasions when the house functions as an extended family compound or when there are large numbers of guests. At these times, people can overflow into the generous stair atrium and gallery where the definition of formal rooms and circulation space is blurred. Each living space has a character of its own ranging from a traditionally formal sitting and music room through to the playful games room which references the colourful sprit of the Art Deco cinemas of the inter-war period.

To accommodate this large family house on a relatively restricted suburban site, the floor plates were stacked over four levels therefore putting emphasis on the quality of vertical circulation. The response to this was to introduce a three storey stair atrium with a glazed wall which floods the center of the house with natural daylight. Above the atrium is a substantial, operable skylight which, through a natural stack effect, draws warm air from the house to cool the masonry structure. To minimise the energy required in winter, a solar hydronic heating system was installed under the stone floors which provides warmth largely from the heating of water by the sun. The same solar system operates through heat exchange units to provide potable hot water and heating for the pool. The house makes great use of natural materials such as Sydney sandstone, Travertine, cedar and spotted gum.

Photography: Nicole England and Anson Smart

Interior Styling + Decor: Hare & Klein