The Daily Telegraph

The 2015 home of the year

  • The brief: Create a luxury 6-storey resort-style home on Burraneer Bay
  • The team: Sammut Developments, Cameron Jones Innovative Architects
  • The stats: 200 windows, 1000 light fixtures, 20 car spaces, 30km cabling, 750 tradies

TAKE a quick look at the statistics of this build and you might be forgiven for thinking the numbers point to a multi-unit residential development.

Parking for 20 cars, three lifts, four rainwater pumps, 21 hose reels and 80,000L of rainwater storage. But the truth is this amazing home — which last weekend was named House of the Year at the HIA-CSR NSW Housing Awards — was built on the waterfront at Burraneer Bay in Sydney’s south for just one family.

“It’s safe to say this is the largest single family dwelling we’ve built,” says Allen Sammut from Sammut Developments. But despite its size, the seven-bedroom home still manages to feel inviting and warm rather than cavernous and hotel-like thanks to clever design and the use of natural materials such as timber and sandstone.

“The amount of materials that were used and the sheer scale of the job is as big as a six-storey residential flat building.” “The use of sandstone in this project was significant,” explains Allen. “We used it extensively both in the home itself and also down by the waterfront. We actually put a new sea wall in and built a small beach which sits to the side of the property.”

The home is set over four lots and consists of six levels — from the heritage-listed two-storey boathouse with private beach through to the porte cochere entry and extensive courtyard at street level. Known as the Nautilus house, the entry has a feature stair based upon the geometry of a shell that took hundreds of man-hours to ensure millimetre precision.


Needless to say, a project on this scale took considerable time, with the first sketch concept drawing done in January 2010. Construction started 22 months later in September 2011 and was completed last Christmas. In total 750 tradesmen worked on the project, with about 100 on site on the busiest days during the build.

“It was a very interesting process getting it all off the ground, The local council had no controls that could cater for a house so large so we ended up going through a joint regional planning panel and the approval was completely merit based. ”Allen says even though it spans six levels, the home doesn’t impinge on the existing landscape and is nicely nestled on the waterfront thanks to the use of more than 6000 individual plants set in 1500 tonnes of sand and soil. says Allen.

The home’s appearance from the water is further softened through the restoration of the boatshed which was completely stripped back and reclad using original timber that was specially remilled.