Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

 

It’s not often one gets a chance to visit a piece of significant architecture, let along stay in one. Now, thanks to the owners of Peter Stutchbury‘s 2012 ‘Invisible House’ and Contemporary Hotels, you can do just that. In 2014, this house (which now goes by the name of ‘Angel Wing’) won both the Residential Architecture Award at the NSW Architecture Awards. It also took out the Australian House of the Year at the Houses Awards.

The site is located on the western edge of the Kanimbla Valley, looking back east towards the ridgeline towns of Katoomba, Blackheath and Mt Victoria. The view has a relative lack of foreground detail and is consequentially epic. The house itself is drawn out along the edge of the escarpment and cut in along the western side in front of a stand of enormous gum trees. What is visible of the west elevation is characterised by an undulating concrete roof that floats above a blade straight spine wall that is over 75m long. A pair of corten steel boxes, which are to me reminiscent of Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly paintings, sit atop the concrete roof protecting the upper floor bedrooms at one end, and the living room clerestories at the other.

 

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

Invisible House by Peter Stutchbury | Yellowtrace

 

While fortress-like from the west (which is the direction of the approach), the house opens generously to the eastern and northern aspect almost like it is itself captivated by the view. The fine cantilevered roof with its inverted blade edge protects the interiors both visually and environmentally, while the perfectly flat internal/external plane of floor, grass and paving is a conscious cut into the landscape that marks out a calm platform for the house in an otherwise wild landscape.

The principle materials both inside and out are off form concrete, stone, timber and glass. There is what I think a perfect balance between the precision of the design and the way the forms are articulated through material. The house is large with generous living and sleeping areas and a wide corridor running the length of the western side, however the materials have softness, warmth and an ability to age gracefully. Joinery is simple yet beautifully detailed and raw brass bathroom fittings and door hardware decorate without being gaudy.

The house is both comfortable and awe inspiring, a balance which is hard to achieve. We were lucky enough to witness a blue moon rising over the valley during our stay, which seemed perfect considering the rare opportunity of staying in such a magnificent place.

 

See more projects photographed by Tom Ferguson on Yellowtrace.

 

 


[Photography © Tom Ferguson.]

 

About The Author

Tom Ferguson
Photographer

Tom is a practicing Architect with more than 15 years experience in small and medium density residential projects. Over the course of his career, he has photographed his own work as well as the work of others, along the way cultivating a great interest in the art and commerce of architectural and interiors photography. As a photographer who is also an architect, Tom has an understanding of the composition of built form, of materials and their qualities and of the importance of light in capturing the many moods of architecture. Having worked on projects of many sizes, Tom's ability to tell the whole story of a project from the most intimate interior details to the most heroic external architectural statements is second to none.

One Response

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    Charles

    Sure, its comfortable if the plant room has been switched on for three days prior your visit. Or didn’t you talk to the housekeeper about how much time it takes to warm the place up? I guess also you weren’t asked not to walk up the truck bed ply stairs because its such pain to clean concrete dust from the floor out of the stipple pattern. Maybe you didn’t notice that the hand made sinks fail to drain properly & thus there is always a film of soap scum on them. Perhaps you didn’t notice the spaghetti of cables from the back of the tv in the middle of the room. This building should never be held up as an exemplar of anything, other than something that looks nice in a judiciously shot image. All comments in the context of any work of fine building is a wickedly difficult task. My own work not nearly this good. Also much was attempted, although I think even the “idea” is deeply flawed. BUT above problems, not even a full list, should discount awarding of prizes to this work. Why does the industry fall for it so frequently?

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