Eco Cabin, Bundeena, Australia
Around one hour south of Sydney, near the town of Bundeena, right where the bushland meets the sea, 15 contemporary houses have just been completed, designed by Tony Owen NDM Architects.
see more exterior and interior shots of the cabins
It’s a place of great natural beauty where any large developments would usually be unthinkable. But the developers of the Elandra tract struck lucky with a plot of land that had been used as a summer camp and were granted permission for 15 eco cabins, with views out across the beach.
The timber-framed houses are pushed into the sloping dunes and bushlands, sitting on slim stilts. To make the most of the best vantage points the main living spaces are on the timber clad upper level, leading to large terraces, while a master bed sits to the rear. Two other bedrooms and a family room are on the ground floor contained within a crisp white box, contrasting with the timber above.
Eco aspects were a major consideration, given the context, so the site and its Banksia and Melaleuca trees were preserved as far as possible. ‘Environmental issues are particularly important in the bush and in dealing with these issues we also achieve a better design for the house,’ says Owen, who has recently designed Harley Davidson’s new Australian HQ, a host of ground breaking homes, and was also featured in our own Wallpaper* Architects Directory in 2007.
Water collection tanks are integral, with plumbing fed off recycled rainwater, while sustainable timbers are used throughout. ‘This has been combined with strategies for maximising the spectacular views. Because Bundeena is surrounded by national park it has retained its charm and has some of the most stunning views in New South Wales.’
Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).
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