2018 Houses Awards: Australian House of the Year

Australian House of the Year Cabbage Tree House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture 2018 Houses Awards

Jury comment

The Cabbage Tree House is a remarkable, complete Australian house that authentically and poetically embraces its landscape setting on Sydney’s northern beaches. Anchored in a rock shelf, the masonry structure leans back into the hillside as a “physical manifesto of the character of its place.”

Internally, the home has cave-like qualities. It is a sanctuary away from city life and is connected to the landscape. The scale of the building is broken down into smaller spaces of retreat and seclusion – all with views into vast bushland. Exposed concrete, steel and brickwork give the impression of permanence and longevity, as well as having thermal mass benefits. The home is intended for comfort in all seasons: it captures cool breezes from the east in summer and is splayed to the north toward the winter sun.

Although this house is undeniably an impressive piece of architecture, it has the warmth, layers and inhabitation of a welcoming home. Every design detail is considered – from the circular skylights that give glimpses of blue skies above to the handcrafted timber handrail on the stair. It is a house through which one can reconnect with nature – not as a museum piece, but as a home to be lived in. This home is the Australian House of the Year for its timeless qualities, impressive sculptural forms and connection to place.

See full image galleries of all the winning and shortlisted projects here.

The award for Australian House of the Year is supported by Cult.


Peter Stutchbury Architecture
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Peter Stutchbury, Emma Trask Ward, Belinda Koopman
Builder Michael Shortis
Engineer Richard Matheson
Landscape Luke Dewing
Lighting Tovo Lighting
Photographer Michael Nicholson
Site details
Category Residential buildings
Type Houses
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 27 Jul 2018
Images: Michael Nicholson


Houses, August 2018

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