Aidan Anderson’s top Sydney residential projects


Explore our Home ambassador, Aidan Anderson's top picks across some of Sydney’s most exciting residential projects featured across The Local Project.


Looking along long pool to house.

1. Cabbage Tree House

Project Cabbage Tree House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture

photographed by Derek Swalwell, supplied by The Local Project.


Emerging from the hillside, Cabbage Tree House by Peter Stutchbury Architecture is a built manifestation of place, whose purpose is to heighten the understanding and emotional experience of the land that informs the architecture.

The house is the outcome of time the architects and clients spent with the land, learning its qualities and spatial topography. 

Through coming to understand the landscape’s character, a sense for how a building might behave with the site was developed. From this process, a triad of three elements, in a geographical sequence of sorts – a flat plateau above a steep slope with a creek below – was established, from which the nature of the building as an element of connection became clear.

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Angle of wall with window.

2. Redwood

Project Redwood by Chenchow Little

photographed by Peter Bennetts, supplied by The Local Project.

Redwood encompasses two primary buildings that occupy the site in Balmain, above Sydney Harbour. One, a 19th-century sandstone cottage, is the clients’ family home. The other, a lithe yet structured new contemporary addition, is dedicated to hosting formal gatherings. Though deliberately separate, the two share a rapport that creates a full and rounded experience of the site, the architecture, and the view.

The distinction between a private realm and a public space for entertaining was the focus of the clients’ brief. “They have two young children, so they needed a family home, but they are also great supporters of the arts and host many formal events,” explains Tony Chenchow, co-founder of Chenchow Little. In response to these two equally significant yet separate functions, the project was conceived in two parts, with the new addition and the original cottage designed as parallel structures.

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View along garden path to house.

3. Bismarck House

Project Bismarck House by Andrew Burges Architects

photographed by Prue Ruscoe supplied by The Local Project.

Bismark House is the result of an intentionally less-than conventional brief, purposefully breaking free of the traditional residential mould. Andrew Burges Architects creates an informal home that experiments with materiality and embraces its long, linear landscape and site.

Located in Sydney’s Bondi, Bismarck House is a resetting of the expected. In the process of architectural design, the story is usually the same: client meets architect, client has dreams of their forever home, an affiliation with space, specific materiality, nods to their past, and a want to create something truly unique (and ‘theirs’) through the commission. This scenario was different. Instead, Andrew Burges Architects were asked to design freely, with a much looser brief, to create a home that was informal, unexpected, and with the potential to rent out in the future. Together with Design Daily Interiors and builder Robert Plumb Build, the scene was set for an unconventional and refreshing outcome.

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View of mezzanine with stairs and high ceiling with circular lighting.

4 Perfect Storm

Project Perfect Storm by Matt Woods of Killing

photographed by Kat Lu supplied by The Local Project.

A perfect storm of contemporary minimalist design, this residential project by Matt Woods of Killing Matt Woods creates an intimate yet utilitarian environment in inner city Sydney.

Dubbed “the concrete bunker” for its deliberate use of rendered finishes, and rejection of ornamentation, this Camperdown apartment for two design professionals was conceived of as an intimate, yet utilitarian environment. Inspired by Brutalism and the local warehouse vernacular, extruded geometries and moody tones result in a minimalist and precise interior.

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Angular house in garden setting.

5. Higher Ground

Project Higher Ground by Stafford Architecture

photographed by Tom Ferguson supplied by The Local Project.

Mimetic of its environment yet deliberately contrasting with it, physically intertwined with the landscape yet also carefully separate, Stafford Architecture’s Higher Ground is driven by an interactive approach to its site.

When the architects first visited the site, they were struck by an intuitive sense that this was a remarkable piece of land. Unlike a typical character-less urban block, the steep site is cut through north-south by a rocky sandstone outcrop and numerous mature redgums grow upon it.

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House above stepped terrace.

6. Gordons Bay Garden

Gordons Bay Garden by Secret Gardens

photographed by Nicholas Watt supplied by The Local Project.

Perched on a steep incline in picturesque Gordons Bay, a tiered garden from Secret Gardens sees the outdoor spaces match the uncompromising and site-specific house they surround.

A hardy palette of greenery, tailor-made for tough coastal conditions, hints at the further drama to come. The garden is both complementary to the architecture and highlighted against it.

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Interior of house.

7. GB House

GB House by Renato D’Ettorre

photographed by Justin Alexander supplied by The Local Project

Born of resilience, through a bold sensibility, GB House provides shelter and privacy for its residents along one of Sydney’s busiest coastlines. Renato D’Ettorre has embraced this location through a combination of materiality and tactility.

Located in Coogee in Sydney, GB House stands as a resilient, robust beacon against its unyielding coastline. Approaching the project with a strong methodology, Renato D’Ettorre has created a place that provides both shelter and privacy for its residents, allowing them to live seamlessly on this beautiful coastline. 

Embracing its location and the harsh conditions that accompany exposure to wind, salt and sea water, a boldness and tactility is applied.

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Corridor with open doors leading into room beyond and window above.

8. Jac

Jac by panovscott

photographed by Brett Boardman supplied by The Local Project.

Jac by panovscott is a residential transformation project located in the inner west Sydney suburb of Dulwich hill.

Located in an inner western suburb of Sydney, the subdivision, from 1907, has resulted in a series of generous rectangular land holdings of about 500sqm in size. 

Historical documents show that the house was established within 3 years, one of 7 freestanding federation era cottages built from the same pattern. Prior to the subdivision the land was part of the Gelding Brothers Victorian Nursery. 

The previous owners of the house, who had held the property for 90 years, have passed down to the clients the history of the great Jacaranda, which dates from the time of the nursery and was planted in 1901.

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Open house with terrace and lawn in foreground.

9. Tree House

Tree House by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects

photographed by Anson Smart supplied by The Local Project

Inverting the traditional residential plan, Tree House flips its two levels to elevate the living areas, flooding them with natural light and positioning them in the treetops. As her own home, architect Madeleine Blanchfield has taken the opportunity to rethink the expected and instead respond directly to the site and the way her family lives.

Located near Bronte Beach, Tree House sits on a steeply sloping site, and, as the architect’s own home, it provided the opportunity to rethink the expected and literally flip the traditional home on its head. Spread over its two levels, the plan is inverted to place the living spaces on the upper level, allowing them to be filled with natural light and sit snuggly within the treetop canopy.

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Open doors leading into cubic room.

10. Double Bay House

Double Bay House by Gerry Rihs

photographed by Luc Remond supplied by The Local Project

Originally designed by Sydney architect Gerry Rihs, Double Bay House has been in the careful custodianship of three owners. Its most recent, Fiona and Jost Stollmann, oversaw the process of expanding the existing structure to extend and reinstate the original intent to a new brief.

The works were viewed as both an expansion of the existing house and an extension of the original design intention. A process grounded in listening, observation and acting through a lens of context was key to the maintaining the integrity of the design. 

Located on a private beach in Sydney’s Double Bay, the house, as it stands today, is the result of Gerry Rihs’s original architecture, local architect Robert Harwood’s design contribution and of the close cooperation between the builder, Vadim Jefremkov of Probuilt Projects, and the highly engaged owner.

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