Project info:

Located on the central coast of NSW, next to the Boudii National Park and with views down to Maitland Bay across the surrounding native bushland, this new house for a young family resolves the difficulties of a sloping site, bushfire regulations and also a site compressed between neighboring properties. The plan is a careful negotiation between these constraints while providing for living spaces that capture northern light and the views, as well sensitively responding to the ecology of site and the adjacent properties. Constructed from brick, the building form is defined by two wings that frame the entry sequence, some mature angophora trees and a protected flat outdoor area for the children to play. Between the two, a linking breezeway is totally operable. The upper level with its form slightly offset from that below, holds bedrooms and study. Against the northern site edge, a sunken lounge room serves as a retreat, while on the southern edge, living spaces run in a linear progression from living, kitchen and dining spaces all with northern orientation. The house can also be split in two in summer with folding doors sliding away and flyscreen’s drawn out as required. The overall form is robust and protecting but also porous and able to be opened up as required.

Excerpts of Maitland Bay House feature by Jemima Retallack in Houses, Issue 156, March 2024:

“The intentions of the plan are clear within the first moments of arrival: a break in the centre of the house allows visitors to see through to the landscape beyond, the vista framed rather than obscured. This is a unique generosity absent from the neighbouring blocks, whose houses form barriers to the view from the street.”

“The design does not just consider the constraints and opportunities of the site; it allows them to initiate and lead the design response. Without pretension, its higher aspirations elevate what the provision of a family home in a regional suburban setting can be.”


Jury comments for the 2024 NSW Architecture Awards: Residential Architecture – Houses (New):

“Maitland Bay House by Studio Bright is a special house; finely tuned and beautifully crafted. Modest in scale, it celebrates the majesty of the angophoras, sea, and cliffs of the central coast of NSW. The home neither dominates nor recedes.”

“A subtly sculpted form, the house sits gently within its context.”

  • Year Built:


  • Type:


  • Country:

    Ku-ring-gai / Darkinjung

  • Photographer:

    Rory Gardiner

  • Awards:

    2024 NSW Architecture Award - Residential Architecture - Houses (New) : Wilkinson Award

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