A remarkable house for many reasons, not least for surviving the 2019 summer fires…

Project Details

Location: Nelligen, South Coast, NSW

Completion: 2017

Windywoppa’s siting is sublime: set to face north from a rise above a broad kink of the Clyde River, and deep inside Clyde River National Park, the house appears suddenly in a clearing. The arrangement of two slightly-separated white pavilions are powerfully horizontal in contrast to the verticality of the trees.

The social circulation pivot of the holiday compound is marked by an exaggeratedly-tall fireplace; the heart of an elevated outdoor living space. Approaching it, and once through the gap in the blade walls, the glazed pavilions, which have bedrooms at their east and west extremities, are all about orientation toward this astounding place in the natural world.

Despite the apparent simplicity and openness of the one-room deep pavilions, they needed to be robust enough to withstand a wildfire event. And in the terrible summer of 2019/20, fire burned so close to the house that ferns in the courtyard were fried. Remarkably, this steel and glass river forest refuge survived: a small grace for the family of Windywoppa during the devastating Australian event.