Real estate in Australia is as diverse as its terrain, including heritage Victorian mansions and ultra-modern contemporary beachfront properties. From hosting lavish parties to incorporating the latest techniques in sustainable architecture, the following four homes stand out as top examples of Australian design.
Cape Schanck House
Fans of modern architecture and landscape design will want to take a closer look at the Cape Schanck House, which juts out of the landscape of Victoria’s Cape Schanck. Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, the house is placed at the top of a high sand dune and is built on two levels. There’s a winding driveway which climbs its way up the dune, offering views at the top over a serene living space, wooden deck, and pool. The house is built using the concept of a hollowed out log, with one segment of the upper level jutting out into space meant to represent a branch extending from the central log form. Extensive glass and natural materials are used to make the most of the area’s panoramic views and control climate at the same time.
Elizabeth Bay House
Tucked into Sydney’s picturesque Elizabeth Bay suburb, the Elizabeth Bay House was originally constructed between 1835 and 1839 and is a prime example of the Regency style of architecture that was popular at the time. Known as “the finest house in the colony” when it was first built, the Elizabeth Bay House is now open to the public for tours. Standout features include its geometric staircase and central domed salon. This colonial mansion was constructed for Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay, and is thought to be designed by John Verge who was one of Australia’s most notable colonial architects. It’s interesting to note that the house remains unfinished, due to the owner’s financial difficulties during the depression of the 1840’s. Yet it still stands out as a grand reminder of the colonial era in Sydney.
North Carlton Green House
Also deemed the “Zen House,” the North Carlton Green House was constructed by Zen Architects in Melbourne. With clean, swooping lines that blur the boundaries between nature and man-made structure, the Zen House incorporates plenty of plants into its design to create a living space. It includes a rooftop garden offering refreshing views over the surrounding treetops, and is designed to minimize consumption wherever possible. The house collects rainwater and is designed to re-use grey water in the gardens. The temperature is controlled through passive heating and cooling systems. With a natural flow to its elements, the house was created with balance in mind.
A stunning historic residence in Melbourne, the Stonington Mansion has served a number of roles over the years. It was originally built in 1890 for John Wagner, who was a partner in Cobb and Co coaches. The house was constructed by architect Charles D’Ebro in the Italianate Victorian style, with stately columns and arches. After Wager’s death, the house was used as a home for the Governor of Victoria, and was maintained by the government until 1931. It housed seven governors along with numerous royal guests. Since then Stonington Mansion was used as a school, a hospital during World War II, and part of the Victoria College campus. It’s now back in private hands, sold in 2007 to art dealer Rodney Menzies for a cool $18 million.
Cape Schanck House by John Gollings – All Rights Reserved
Elizabeth Bay House – by Active Procratination on Flickr – Some Rights Reserved
Stonington Mansion – Wikipedia Public Domain
North Carlton Green House – © Emma Cross – Architecture News Plus – All Rights Reserved
Guest Author Bio
Rachel MacDonald is a freelance writer specializing in home design and travel.
She finds herself perusing Homesales often to admire the unique character of Australia’s top properties.