Lavender Bay house opens towards the water, overlooking Sydney harbour

Lavender Bay house by Tobias Partners is an expansive family home overlooking Sydney harbour

Lavender Bay house seen from its green garden
Images styled by Martine Merrylees
(Image credit: Justin Alexander)

Tobias Partners' Lavender Bay House occupies an enviable spot on the northern shores of New South Wales. Set within a densely built context of seaside plots, the new-build residence (the home of a family of five) makes the most of its site, opening naturally towards the water as it overlooks Sydney Harbour. 

Lavender Bay house in its urban context

(Image credit: Justin Alexander)

Step inside the Lavender Bay house by Tobias Partners

The generous dwelling contains ample accommodation for its permanent residents while allowing for guests and entertaining. Its lofty volumes feel at once comfortable and even cosy, framed against the dramatic sea vistas and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park and Opera House views beyond. 

Lavender Bay house and its expensive views from the living room

(Image credit: Justin Alexander)

The house's spatial arrangement is based on a mix of both 'expansive and introspective outlooks', write the architects, headed by studio founder Nick Tobias. The project was led by Tobias Partners' designer and principal Richard Peters. The site's steep slope (there is a 16m terrain drop across the plot) led to a stepped approach. 

Lavender Bay house street side facade and entrance

(Image credit: Justin Alexander)

At the same time, 'a deep excavation was required to accommodate our clients’ brief and maintain view-corridors for surrounding properties', the team continues. 'From the street, the house reads as a single level, and the main entry sequence makes a feature of the Harbour Bridge’s north-western pylon.'

double height living space in Lavender Bay house

(Image credit: Justin Alexander)

Inside, the interiors – also crafted by Tobias Partners – blend monumental concrete, marble and timber accents. Material consistency and a restricted colour palette unite the home's five levels. 

living room at Lavender Bay house

(Image credit: Justin Alexander)

The lower levels, which most connect with the outdoors and the property's cascading garden, house the living areas, which spread across a majestic, double-height space. 

Lavender Bay house exterior detail in foliage

(Image credit: Justin Alexander)

Upstairs is where the private areas are located, including a principal bedroom contained within its own level, and three more bedrooms above it. 

Lavender Bay house geometric interior shot

(Image credit: Justin Alexander)

An extra family room on the top floor provides space for a home office and an added terrace lounge for family and guests.

bedroom at Lavender Bay house

(Image credit: Justin Alexander)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director 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), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).