The Owner-Builder Network

The Escarpment House

New South Wales, Australia – Timothy Moon Architects

Photography: © Timothy Moon Architects

The Escarpment House
The Escarpment House


The Australian Timber Development Association runs an annual competition for timber constructs.  This home is the 2011 winner of the following categories:

  • The Recycled Timber Award, 2011
  • The Residential Class 1 – New Buildings Award, 2011
  • The Timber as a Structural Element Award, 2011
  • The Best Central Region (ACT & NSW) Award, 2011

The Escarpment House is located on a secluded rural escarpment overlooking the Hawkesbury River, unquestionably one of the greatest vistas this planet offers. The region is geologically ancient with massive sandstone cliffs eroding down to the river valley below.  The area is alive with abundant native flora and fauna and large areas are protected National Park. The home is designed to harmonise with it’s environment.

The architects comments:

The placement and ordering of the building maintains and emphasises the natural elements and topography of the site.

The house is comprised of a series of linked timber and stone pavilions, located on the edge of a natural escarpment.  Each pavilion provides a unique vista and interaction with the surrounding landscape.  A guest studio is located in a clearing away from the main house.

Entry to the house is structured. A protected courtyard, garden and pond direct visitors to the entry pavilion.  From the entry pavilion, access is provided to either the more private family room and bedroom pavilions, or the main room of the house, where family and guests gather.

The crafted use of familiar and robust materials are key to the success of the integration of the house into its natural setting. Natural stone provides grounded landscape elements and a building plinth onto which the timber structures are located and cantilever.

A timber walkway leads over the escarpment through the tree tops, to a unique room which provides views over the property and river beyond.

Escarpment House provides a retreat, rich in character and detail.

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