The Seed House

Questionable functionality and planning weren’t enough to hide the potential this property had to offer James and Susie when they purchased in 2007.


Questionable functionality and planning weren’t enough to hide the potential this property had to offer James and Susie when they purchased in 2007. Water views and a large garden with direct access to neighbouring bushland were attractive enough to get them seeing what the property could be with the right design. The design brief was to link the outdoors with the indoor spaces with no restrictions to the view while maximising privacy. There was an environmental focus to the design with the intention that the building would sit comfortably within the natural landscape and efficiently assist with the heating and cooling of the home.

The concept for the Seed House came from spending time in the natural landscape, collecting seed pods with the intent to use them as plant stock for the property. The proposed building pods close themselves off from the surrounding cacophony and leave themselves open to an everchanging aspect. The pods through their separation are able to be closed from the main dwelling as required.


The proposed building is unique in its premise and has successfully resolved a complex functional brief on a challenging sloping site. Three primary materials feature namely glass, steel and timber. The design uses no plasterboard or traditional paint systems as per the brief of the clients. The simple external form and considered proportions ensure the building sits comfortably within its natural landscape while the mix of century old design principles, with an overlay of technology, create a comfortable and functional space. Design flexibility ensures that as innovative technology becomes available the base systems in place can be added to.

The upper level consists of a garage pod that sits reversed to the remaining pods to address its functional needs. Its front elevation deflects the eye to the framing mature Sydney Red Gums on the neighbouring border. Pedestrian access is via a gateway through a low stone wall that builds a sense of anticipation. The main living space opens directly onto a private enclosed outdoor terrace that is tucked away from the neighbours and protected from the elements. The ‘ceremonial’ centre of the house being the kitchen has glazed walls and a glazed roof which responds to the suns angles through specialised louvers and blinds. A central stair under a glazed roof links the living level to the bedroom level and floods the stair with natural light. All pods can be closed down through doors or curtains to create a sense of enclosure, separation or individual thermal control. The design of the Seed House is modern yet designed to relate to a simple way of life.

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