The secluded Australian retreat sits within Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park about an hour north of Sydney, Australia. Surrounded by she-oak and ironbark trees, this atmospheric abode has echoes of The Swiss Family Robinson tree house.
Designed by renowned Australian architect Richard Leplastrier in collaboration with architects Karen Lambert and Ian Martin, the 1,044-square-foot Osborne House fully embraces its bushland setting, and is now available through Modern House Estate Agents with the price provided upon request.
Composed of three pavilions and a living space, the residence was conceived in 1994, when its artist owner approached her friend Richard Leplastrier to redesign her property. This, at the time, comprised an early 20th-century stilt shack with a bedroom, and a ground-level cabin located about 33 feet away from the shack.
Architects Leplastrier, Lambert, and Martin designed an enormous deck to unify the two structures, then built a kitchen at the south-facing side of the deck at the back of the property.
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"Suddenly", says Leplastrier, "the whole place worked; it’s curious—it’s like having a piece of music that’s off the mark, with two instruments that don’t go together. By putting a third one in, it suddenly turns into a wonderful piece."
The original doors and windows of the cabin structure were left intact. The architects added built-in storage to the outside, lined the interior in plantation hoop pine ply, and installed a wood-burning stove and storage unit along one wall.
In the kitchen pavilion, a wall made of Sydney Blue Gum and Brush Box recycled from 19th-century Sydney warehouses is fitted with a tilting, translucent, corrugated polycarbonate door that opens out to the deck.
While the deck was designed to connect with the bushland, the kitchen is a more hidden space, with the portholes framing views of the national park and wildlife—which include wallabies, goannas and lyre birds—from close quarters.
"When you open up something that’s not glass and are just left with a hole in the wall, it’s the most acute connection to outside you’ll ever get," says Leplastrier, who prefers not to use glass in his buildings.
Like many other buildings by Leplastrier, Lambert, and Martin, this house was dismantled, then rebuilt by Jeffrey Broadfield.
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