sunrise in kangaroo valley

for most people, a 40-hectare, virtually inaccessible escarpment in kangaroo valley might not seem an obvious choice as a location for a weekender. but it took tony white and alexander michael (aka siloboy) just 20 minutes to snap it up. neither white, a jeweller, or michael, an interior designer, was daunted by the prospect of building a house on the steep mountainside, which could only be reached by a precipitous winding track. In fact, the couple were inspired by the challenge. "we set five criteria for our ideal property: 100 acres, views, privacy, rainforest and natural water," says michael. "this place has the lot." twelve months and some innovative design ideas later, the result is wombat towers, a futuristic solar powered house named after the burrowing mammals it attracts. "this area is full of wombats," says michael. "every time you drive up the road you have to be careful not to hit one." near to top of the escarpment, the property has expansive views over the rainforest and dense bushland of the upper kangaroo river. but the most striking thing is the house itself, which appears to defy gravity as there’s only one fixed wall. the soaring tent-like structure has irombark columns rising from a 27-meter long reflection pool to support a vast, butterfly-shaped roof made from galvanised steel. this acts as a sunshade and shelter (rather like the fly of a tent) for an enormous flat-roofed building with retractable glass on three sides. "with most houses, the walls support the roof, but this is different," explains michael. "the upper roof supports the building beneath." michael designed the house as well as the interiors and much of the furniture. m. block

alexander michael's house at kangaroo valley sunrise 2 in kangaroo valley

alexander michael's house at kangaroo valley looking towards wombat towers

alexander michael's house at kangaroo valley south elevation

alexander michael's house at kangaroo valley switched on

alexander michael's house at kangaroo valley my vanity

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