2020 Houses Awards: Garden or Landscape

Vaucluse Garden by Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture with Bates Landscape

Jury Comment

A dramatic clifftop site is carefully calibrated into a series of episodic encounters at Vaucluse Garden – of foregrounds and backgrounds, and worlds within worlds. Seeking first to establish the geologic circum-stances of the escarpment, Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture with Bates Landscape has used the garden as a contextualizing “habitat,” mediating between the extraordinary site and the architecture of the house.

The garden consists of sense-rich native and edible flora, set against the raw strata of exposed bed rock. This new topography ingeniously creates a series of subtle, protected and verdant microecologies, which resolve the edges of the built elements on the site. To the seaward side, the gardens are sunken and sheltered below the cliff edge, whilst also serving to foreground the horizon’s expanse.

Delicate and detailed, Vaucluse Garden’s small series of landscape interventions acts to experientially ground the domestic life of the house. Delightfully measured and scaled, these gardens are conceived holistically, as a shared habitat for communities of human and non-human life.

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


Landscape architect
Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Project Team
Jane Irwin, Dan Harmon
Architect Paul Pholeros
Landscape Bates Landscape Services
Site Details
Location Vaucluse,  NSW,  Australia
Site type Coastal
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2018
Category Residential
Type Outdoor / gardens



Published online: 31 Jul 2020
Words: Editorial Desk AAU
Images: Dan Harmon, Dianna Snape


Houses, August 2020

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