Hewitt Residence

Pittwater, Australia

Set on top of a boulder-strewn hill in the temperate forests of Eastern Australia, this residence was shaped by a combination of the unique environmental and programmatic forces.

The enormous “floater” rocks that crowned this steep hill created a clearing that allowed the residence to be inserted into the landscape without removing any trees. The sequence of entry and most of the fenestration was organized to reveal both proximate specimen trees and shrub and distant ocean views.

While separating out the library as an element that defined the entry and focused on a specimen palm tree, the remainder of the residence reflected the owner’s desire to have both “formal” and “informal” sides of the residence joined by a single great space that looked into the forest and the views beyond.

The building was sheathed with metal to respond to the ever-present danger of fire, while the inside was constructed of exposed wooden members that reflect the warm skeletal nature of light wood framing.