How you can discover award-winning architect-designed homes


Few people live in a house designed by Pritzker Prize winner architect Glenn Murcutt or famed Harry Seidler or 2021 Residential Architecture Prize winner Peter Stutchbury.

Unlike public buildings, you can’t walk through the front door of a private house to see designs by top architects, says Sydney residential architect Campbell Baird. The photos don’t cut it either, he says.

To get a glimpse of the interiors of these homes, Mr. Baird mixes his hobbies with his work by renting vacation homes designed by notable and award-winning architects.

He became “slightly obsessed” with the award-winning beach house designed by Murcutt in 1984 in Bingie on the south coast of New South Wales, one of eight architect-designed houses Baird rented and documented.

Designed as a secluded retreat with ‘camping in mind’, Magney House – still owned by the family who commissioned Murcutt – won the National Architecture Award for Sustainable Architecture in 2011.

Visitors, including many architects, pay $ 1,500 a night to stay in a place they describe as iconic, magical, and architectural masterpiece. Willing to ignore the need for maintenance because of its glow, visitors describe it as “not your usual Airbnb.”

Andy Carson and Jeffrey Simpson Architect / designers at Headland House, Gerringong.Credit:Louise kennerley

For Mr. Baird, staying at Magney House was different from seeing it in a magazine. “Architecture is designed for a particular place, a particular climate, a context and a client. The only way to understand it is to live it.

“Most homes disconnect you from the outdoors, and people like Murcutt helped make people understand that the experience of the outdoors is as important as that of the indoors,” says Baird.

Rentals designed by architects are often experimental, on top or off the grid. They range from luxurious to prefab and tiny.
They include treehouses and boathouses designed by internationally renowned Australian architect Richard Leplastrier, architect-architect.

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At the top of the market, rentals like The Edge in Coogee, a five-bedroom luxury home by Renato D’Ettorre, and architect Timothy Moon’s Villa Surin in Cattai on the Hawkesbury rent thousands a night and offer services. of concierge service to their guests. Craig Rosevear’s Archer House at Whale Beach, which won the Wilkinson Prize from the Australian Institute of Architects in 2001, rents between $ 2,000 and $ 4,000 a night.

Many of these homes have served as fashion and film locations. The dovecote near Werri Beach includes two rental buildings, the Headland and the Range, designed by Atelier architects Andy Carson. The Headland was a location for the psychological thriller The Invisible Man starring Elizabeth Moss.

You can’t stay in Night Sky, designed by Peter Stutchbury who won 2021’s highest award for a new home, the Robin Boyd Award. But a former Stutchbury House of the Year winner, Invisible House in the Megalong Valley, is available for vacation rental. Rusty red boxes, reminiscent of old farm sheds, hide the invisible house nestled under the top of the hill.

The award winning Inivisible House by Peter Stutchbury is available for <a class=vacation rentals.” loading=”lazy” src=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.287%2C$multiply_0.4431%2C$ratio_1.5%2C$width_756%2C$x_114%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/01013047e5eb2a320b9c1509912aa8e4f8885af4″ height=”224″ width=”335″ srcset=”https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.287%2C$multiply_0.4431%2C$ratio_1.5%2C$width_756%2C$x_114%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_86%2Cf_auto/01013047e5eb2a320b9c1509912aa8e4f8885af4, https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.287%2C$multiply_0.8862%2C$ratio_1.5%2C$width_756%2C$x_114%2C$y_0/t_crop_custom/q_62%2Cf_auto/01013047e5eb2a320b9c1509912aa8e4f8885af4 2x”/>

The award winning Inivisible House by Peter Stutchbury is available for vacation rentals.Credit:Peter Stutchbury Architecture

At Hawks Nest, the Courtyard House, an off-grid prefabricated home from CHROFI that won 2020 sustainability awards and was shortlisted for other awards in 2021, rents for $ 700 a night.

Rarely does an architect’s house for rent still belong to the client who commissioned it or the architect who designed it.

Gawthorne’s Hut owners Steph and Rick Gordon say their son Oliver inspired them to commission architect Cameron Anderson to build something unique. The modest one-bedroom eco-hut near Mudgee, rented for $ 440 a night, gets five-star reviews. And it won Airbnb’s Best Single Stay award in 2021.

Gawthorne's Hut won Airbnb's Best Unique Stay award for 2021.

Gawthorne’s Hut won Airbnb’s Best Unique Stay award for 2021.Credit:Amber Creative

Architect Peter Buckwell didn’t just design GrandviewHaus in Mount Victoria in the Blue Mountains as a vacation home over 50 years ago.

“I built this damn thing. It only took me eight years, doing it on holidays and weekends, ”he says.

Peter Buckwell's log home in Mount Victoria has stood the test of time.

Peter Buckwell’s log home in Mount Victoria has stood the test of time.Credit:Dean Sewell

Mr. Buckwell, who raised his family in the house, says he enjoys sharing the house with others. “It’s anything but conventional,” he says. It has a conversation pit below. The Haus has its origins in the Bauhaus, Le Corbusier, and Brutalist philosophies, he says.

Built from inexpensive materials on land purchased for $ 10,500 in 1970, Mr. Buckwell designed it to withstand high winds and maximize “incomparable views.” He used standard siding boards on the exterior. They deceptively resemble the plank-shaped concrete popular today.

But it’s a trick of the eyes: “There is no concrete,” says Buckwell.

Long before anyone really thought about bushfire mitigation, he says he designed his own system. He installed a sprinkler system on the roof and shortened the eaves so that the exterior walls were soaked if a fire approached.

One of NSW’s most famous vacation properties is Berman House in Joadja outside of Mittagong. It is now called Seidler House in honor of its award-winning architect, the late Harry Seidler, who completed its design in 1999.

At $ 2,500 a night for a minimum week’s stay, the home’s curved roof lands like a wave on the escarpment overlooking the Wingecarribee River.

“A flat roof would be a rather boring thing to do on such a wonderful site,” Seidler said in 2001. “With modern technology, we can bend and twist steel like spaghetti into any configuration we do. want to. “

It gets rave reviews from visitors: “It goes without saying, but the house is amazing. What a breathtaking architectural feat! I wanted to stay here just for the views / history, but the house is also meticulously maintained and is very comfortable, ”said a visitor this year.

Andrew Martin, the owner of Berman House, which was built in 1999.

Andrew Martin, the owner of Berman House, which was built in 1999.Credit:Wolter peeters

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