Commendation for Residential Buildings

Toumbaal Plains House by Fergus Scott

This is an article from the Architecture Australia archives and may use outdated formatting

Jury Citation

The inspiring Toumbaal Plains House on the New South Wales north coast, by Fergus Scott, was achieved on a very tight budget. Despite this, Scott was able to deliver to his clients a deceptively large building through his use of the outdoors as habitable space.

The clients have a long association with the site and traditionally camped on this land. Scott’s building retains that ethos of camping through his design of two separate buildings joined by common walls, which in turn form a courtyard. Two large sliding timber panels seal off the openings to the space and protect it from strong winds.

Together with a fireplace in the courtyard, they generate a space that falls somewhere between the outdoors and an enclosed environment.

The courtyard allows the clients to experience the unique qualities of the land they inhabit, and to feel connected to it, while also having shelter from the elements. The building is a very successful articulation of the idea of an outdoor room and the notion that a simple pair of parallel walls can have its own microclimate.


Fergus Scott Architects
Sydney, NSW, Australia
Builder Noel Cowling Builder
Geotechnical engineer Col Jenkins & Associates Engineers
Structural consultant Structural Mechanics and Dynamics
Site details
Category Residential buildings
Type Houses
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 1 Nov 2003


Architecture Australia, November 2003

Related topics

More archive

See all
August issue of LAA out now August issue of LAA out now

A preview of the August 2019 issue of Landscape Architecture Australia.

Houses 124. Cover project: Garden Room House by Clare Cousins Architects. Houses 124 preview

Introduction to Houses 124.

Architecture Australia September/October 2018. AA September/October 2018 preview

Local and global recognition: An introduction to the September/October 2018 issue of Architecture Australia.

The August 2018 issue of Landscape Architecture Australia. August issue of LAA out now

A preview of the August 2018 issue of Landscape Architecture Australia.

Most read

Latest on site