Designed by Clinton Murray and Polly Harbison, this house is both intensely public, yet intensely private. The critical moment in the design was emphasising the opportunity we had to connect the house to the community and its local environment. We looked to Isamu Noguchi for inspiration, whose iconic sculptures curve and twist and link us to other worlds. Our client’s love of art inspired experimentation with sculptural forms, and they were determined to make the most of the beautiful views over the beach and to Sydney Harbour beyond. The concrete sculptural form is a union between landscape, engineering, architecture and art, a series of boxes assembled to respond to views, sun and privacy. Simple design principles of orientation, thermal mass and natural ventilation are fundamental to the design. In an area typically dominated by high fences and intercoms, we’ve allowed passers-by to touch and feel the building, and look through it to Balmoral beach and Sydney Harbour beyond. This experience is further enhanced by the careful positioning of selected artworks in the main undercroft and garden. One sculpture, a cast human form, lies passively, arms outstretched, waiting for commentary. From within the house, views are carefully edited and framed to create a sense of serenity and isolation.