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Client: Private

Location: Church Point, NSW

Status: Complete

Program: Residence

Scale: 725m2

Year: 2015-2019

Church Point House is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house on a leafy, steep site overlooking the Ku-ring-gai National Parkland Pittwater.

Responding to the challenging conditions, the building is split into two forms; a masonry base designed to be grounded in the landscape and a lightweight box floating above. Materials and devices allow for the landscape to permeate the architecture and allow the user to feel close to the natural elements. A tall, sheltered courtyard in the middle of the section lets sunlight drench the living spaces.

The house also has a flexible programming, becoming two homes or one unified home if needed. As the client is nearing retirement, the primary home is on one accessible level with fantastic aspect and views. While the lightweight box above can be separated to become a distinct unit dwelling or seamlessly integrated with the main house.

The main living space was deliberately pulled to the bottom of the site, instead of on the top, to enable a better connection to the property’s waterfront, pool, boathouse, and garden area.

Within all of that, there is an aspect of independence but connection. Church Point House offers a more flexible family home that contemplates accommodation for extended family coming and going and optimising the investment to enable discrete short-term leases to occur.

Another innovative aspect is realised in the home’s ability to operate almost as a one-bedroom flat for the residents, so they don’t feel like they are in a monstrous home with unused space. The main section they inhabit is very connected, offering them the comfort of never feeling far away from each other.

Whereas conventional family home designs have functional rooms on opposite corners of the house, our intention was to create a very connected day-to-day living space for the clients. The unique design gave the ability to operate almost as a one-bedroom flat for the clients so they don’t feel like they are in a monstrous home with unused space, while the main section they use is very connected, giving them the feeling they are never far away from each other.  

The presence of concrete came from the client’s brief of blending the countries where they previously lived, in particular, the volcanic stone of New Zealand, offering a light grey colour in contrast with the lush landscape, timber and stone accents throughout.

A dense planning strategy offsets the grey of the concrete with a hint of greenery noticeable in every view. Ideas taken to the interior include board form concrete and soft neutrals which is continuously offset against either landscape views of Pittwater or the internal courtyard.

CHROFI collaborated with We Are Triibe to explore different materiality, incorporating locally sourced timber and stone accents which provide a fluid transition from the concrete structure to the greenish-blue waters of the harbour.

Project partners

Katherine Lu


2020 AIDA Shortlist, Residential Design

Church Point House

Project partners