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James House, NSW, Australia

  • Architect:
    Lindsay Johnston Architect
  • Award Type:
    Regional Award 1996
  • Location: Overseas
James House, NSW, Australia


The overiding horizontality of the natural Australian landscape with its intense sun is reflected with sensitivity in this attractive, modernist and practical lake shore house and pool on a restricted site in this famous Hunter Valley Region, North of Sydney.

The design solution transcends the height covenant imposed to preserve views from behind, by introducing a low slung single height enclosure with an impressive "dropdead" south facing curved glass wall, cantilevered canopy, and level floors which skillfully blur the inside / outside definition, dramatically merging the waters of both lake and pool when viewed from within. Lovely!

Architect's Comment
The clients have been very loyal to a clear early concept of a pure modernist white aesthetic, moderated by environmental strategies to limit the impact of the intense Australian sun through the use of the curved cantilevered canopy of 140mm reinforced concrete which extends up to 2.5 metres off the house.The attempt has been to integrate the relationship between inside, outside and the lake. The floor materials run through from inside to the pool surround and terrace with no perceptible level change. The wet edge pool, with carefully
selected dark blue mosaic below water, visually merges the water in the pool and the water in the lake when viewed from within the house.

The house consists of a main open-plan living, dining, family kitchen with three childrens' bedrooms, bathroom, toilet and TV room to the north and a master bedroom suite and laundry to the south. There is covered parking for two or three cars at the entrance, and a boat house under the north end.

Client's Comment
The design of our home had to compliment the contour of a 200 foot water frontoge, without infringing upon our neighbour's views or "appearing-to dominate".

The plan chosen was from architect Lindsay Johntson featuring a design that did not date, with its main feature being the interrelationship with the lake.

Our home is adelight to live in, sociable, beautiful and practical.