Boundless Spirit
Belle Magazine Australia|November 2020
Rejoicing in thickly wooded hills and sapphire waters this uplifting home treads lightly on its ‘living platform’.

Overhanging Sydney’s Middle Harbour on a steep site with magical views, this home was the result of a farseeing collaboration between owners Aquestra Stott and James Hone and architect Jorge Hrdina. What was the brief? Aquestra Stott: The original brief was to knock down and rebuild a 1950s cottage that had been extended in the 90s and create a family home that was a better use of the unusual plot.

The views were beautiful and we felt that the land deserved to have an iconic piece of architecture on it to reflect its stunning surrounds. What were the challenges of the site and how did you resolve them? Jorge Hrdina: One of the greatest challenges on a steep site such as this is to create what I refer to as a ‘living platform’, a usable horizontal place to live where the outdoor areas are fully and seamlessly connected with the home, and a place children will be able to easily frequent.

The solution was to design the home across the contours in a fan-like shape, thereby optimising the ‘cut and fill’ and resulting in the creation of a garden flush with the main living areas. The garden is a great place for children to play and adults to potter around, all the while capturing northern light and beautiful vistas to the water beyond. Are there any particular considerations when designing a home in a coastal setting? JH: Coastal sites often have particular challenges.

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