sculptural curves

Sail House was inspired by the sites amazing views of heeling Maxi yachts as they race across the bay. The multitude of large sails creates beautiful sculptural curved forms. Situated on a steep site in an idyllic Vaucluse waterfront setting, with a public park adjacent, this site gave us an opportunity to respond to its park setting and express its harbour context in its architectural forms.

The sail typology is expressed in various materials from stone to render to stucco internally. Internal finishes and furnishing have a restful, maritime feel with cool colours and detail.

The response to the adjacent park and rear harbour interface resulted in a layering of spaces and screening elements, yet opening vistas in carefully selected places. This provides privacy, as well as surprises and unexpected view opportunities throughout the house.





Stafford Design Team
Bruce Stafford, Bevan Boss, Adele McNab
Structural Engineer
Alba and Associates Consulting Engineers
Interior Designer
Landscape Designer
Dangar Barin Smith
Nicholas Watt
Vaucluse, Sydney

Sail House draws its contextual reference from sailing, as this waterfront site faces an open water stretch of the harbour where the Maxi yachts train for the Sydney to Hobart along with weekend races. The site is bounded by a beautiful and busy public park on one side, the harbour at the rear and a large, set back house on the other side. Our response to this site was to open the house to the harbour to maximise the panoramic views, screen the neighbouring house and make the most of the park amenity without compromising privacy. On the park side, we created a series of curved blade walls that slipped past each other on different planes, symbolising sails on the harbour. Framed views were created between the sails, highlighting trees and glimpses of the water, as opposed to the open format of the harbour fa├žade.


Sail house is set far back from the street at the end of a battle-axe handle and is not readily visible from the street. The harbour frontage has a series of terraces that visually connect to the harbour including an infinity edge pool that seamlessly blends with the harbour waters below. The pool also connects to the park through the mosaic tiles which were influenced by the multi-coloured and textural qualities of the native trees that from a backdrop.