Sydney’s 1960s Oculus House Is for Sale After an Award-Winning Renovation
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Sydney’s 1960s Oculus House Is for Sale After an Award-Winning Renovation

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By Kathryn M.
This curvaceous midcentury home is completely encircled by a flourishing garden.

Designed by architect Fred Fox in the 1960s, the Oculus House is a midcentury gem located in the Bellevue Hill neighborhood of Sydney, Australia. The home features retractable curved glazing, a partially domed room with a central oculus, and a floor plan that showcases a magnificent Hill’s fig tree. The home underwent an award-winning restoration in 2012, and the property’s current owners have just listed it for sale.

A sweeping driveway and a sunken carport provide access to the Oculus House. The property was built in the 1960s, and an extensive 2012 renovation introduced the underground garage.

Sydney-based Tzannes Associates helmed the renovation, which modernized the interior and landscaping while preserving the home’s midcentury character. William Danger completed the landscape renovation, while Juliette Arent and Sarah-Jane Pyke of Arent & Pyke oversaw the interior design. The finished project received a 2014 commendation for residential alterations and additions from the New South Wales chapter of the AIA.

The main living area sits directly underneath the oculus, which drenches the space in natural light. A recycled blackbutt joinery screen divides the space from the dining room and kitchen.

"The architecture successfully resolves many idiosyncrasies inherent to the existing semicircular, partly domed building form on pilotis," say  Tzannes Associates. "New external elements are carefully integrated within the existing envelope. Except for a small extension to the living room terrace, the footprint and form of the building remain original."

A recycled-timber-and-stone island dominates the kitchen, which is finished with stainless steel and warm tile floors. The large space branches off from the main living area.

Spanning nearly 9,000 square feet and six bedrooms, the renovated home follows much of Fox’s original floor plan, with the exception of a small terrace off the living room. The home’s original openings frame 270-degree views of the lush garden—although they’ve been upgraded with new windows with adjustable vertical and horizontal louvers. Keep scrolling to see more of this unique property, located just a short stroll from some of Sydney’s best beaches.

A large dining space sits just behind the living room and off the kitchen. A wall of glass sliding doors look out onto the terrace, which is shaded by a new steel-and-timber awning.

According to Tzannes Architects, "the existing three-quarter faceted domed ceiling above the living room was remodeled to better express the underlying geometry and provide clarity to the internal planning. New curved joinery screens define spaces within the room, providing privacy, separation and connectivity."

A look at the master bedroom, which features a full-width window overlooking the backyard.

The master bathroom features imported Italian stone and a custom-made soaking tub.

A metal spiral staircase leads down to the home’s lower level.

Downstairs, a casual entertaining area embraces indoor/outdoor living with a wall of sliding glass doors. The lower level also contains three bedrooms (two with en suite bathrooms) and a gym.

Landscape architect William Danger cleared the original property of several ancillary structures to allow the garden to wrap around the entire home.

The original pool was rebuilt as part of the renovation. Landscaping runs right up to the water’s edge, creating a pond-like ambiance.

An aerial view reveals the home’s snail-shaped exoskeleton. The domed portion and central oculus defines much of the public spaces, while the extension holds private areas.

73A Victoria Road is currently listed by Michael Pallier of Sydney Sotheby's International Realty. Asking price available upon application.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Tzannes Associates / @tzarchitecture

Landscape Architecture: William Danger / @dangarbarinsmith

Interior Design: Arent & Pyke / @arentpyke_inout

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