luigi rosselli architects: gordons bay house
luigi rosselli architects: gordons bay house luigi rosselli architects: gordons bay house
may 23, 2012

luigi rosselli architects: gordons bay house

‘gordons bay house’ by luigi rosselli architects, sydney, australia image © richard glover




surry hills-based studio luigi rosselli architects has completed the ‘gordons bay house’ located in sydney, australia. set on the hillside overlooking the bay, the design consists of three levels, each floor alternatively offset from the boundary by six degrees. the alternating orientation of each tier provides a response to different constraints imposed by the site.


the garage floor is skewed to provide easy access from the adjacent lane, while maximizing the landscaped area at the front of the dwelling. the ground level alternately angles northwest towards the view of the bay and the countryside. this also preserves and enhances vistas from the public street on the southern side of the building. the first floor scissors to produce a series of roof terraces and cantilevered overhangs that correspondingly expose and cover the spaces above and below. this ensures that the project does not step on neighbor’s toes, without compromising the quality of the house.

exterior terraces image © justin alexander




alternating levels all pivot around a dramatic double height gallery stairwell that accommodates the client’s extensive collection of artwork and draws light and air through the center of the dwelling. the house uses off-form concrete slabs and edge beams allowing the structure to cantilever gracefully. windows and custom designed wall cladding are similarly treated with ellipsoid aluminum louvres that provide protection from the aggressive seaside environment. the palette of materials, with the use of new and salvaged timbers and sandstone all elegantly speak of its setting.

backyard view image © justin alexander




the architecture is embraced and enhanced by landscaping designed by terragram. set atop the large existing sandstone retaining wall on the street, a generous lawn is surrounded by edible plants and trees. olives, espaliered citrus, vegetables and herbs help stock the kitchen, and the scraps return to the chickens that roam the garden from their bespoke chock house. the public lane to the south has been dramatically improved with endemic flowering ground covers and bushes.

cantilevered platforms image © richard glover




the operation of the house is supplemented by a 4.2 kw photovoltaic array, large rainwater tanks, solar hot water and pool heating. the residence is air conditioning free, which is the result of a contractual arrangement between architect and client to achieve a design that did not require it. generous eaves, a considered application of thermal mass and natural ventilation operate to minimize the dwellings ongoing environmental impact. the distinctive front door, a steel stair and irregular stonework become the human face of the architecture.

sandstone fence image © richard glover

aluminum louvresimage © justin alexander

detail image © justin alexander

water feature image © richard glover

terrace image © justin alexander

living room image © justin alexander

fireplace detail image © richard glover

interior image © justin alexander



project info:


location: gordons bay, NSW design architect: luigi rosselli project architect: corrado palleschi interior designer: alexandra donohoe landscape architect: terragram builder: moulds constructions joiner: corelli joinery structural & hydraulic engineer: rooney and bye pty ltd photographers: justin alexander and richard glover


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.



  • You can talk the architecture up as much as you like but it remains pedestrian – the fireplace is nice…

    And that light fitting!! You mention that an Interior designer was involved – was it the one who did the palace for Louis?

    www.illem says:
  • i’d say “back to the drawing board”. sorry but you lost me.

    nelson d reyes architect says:
  • Truely beautiful…

    mawdster says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

latest news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,536 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample