Sky House

This inner-city family home pushes the limits of sustainable architecture by combining two traditional terrace houses into a future-focused, high-performance, contemporary sustainable house – packed with environmental design solutions.

, | 280m2
Gadigal, Redfern, NSW
Private Client | Completed 2019

“Thanks so much for your amazing vision and bringing together an incredible team to bring the outdoors into our home. You had not only the clarity of vision but throughout all the ups and downs of the process you’ve been a rock and taken us on an amazing journey.”

– Janet & Mick, owners


The clients – a family of five – loved the area yet needed more space, so we created a package of environmental design solutions and flexibility to adapt as their needs change over the next 20+ years. A self-contained area can accommodate aging parents, an au pair or university-aged children, or generate an income stream.


At the centre of the house, a large operable sky window performs several important functions:

  • it brings light into previously dark rooms and spaces;
  • it helps to vertically and horizontally connect rooms and spaces, and to denote public and private zones; and
  • it contributes to passive heating and cooling, by providing every room with cross-ventilation and utilising the thermal chimney effect.

Other sustainable design elements include green roofs, retractable shade to reduce solar heat-gain, a productive vegetable garden and rainwater harvesting, most of which are atypical on small inner-city lots.

Council initially objected to some elements of our comprehensive design solution – because of the area’s heritage conservation restrictions – but we conducted a series of meetings with officers to explain, discuss and negotiate an outcome that complied with both sustainability and heritage requirements.

As a result of our proactive approach, we obtained Council approval in a reasonable timeframe without compromising on any of the clients’ design ambitions.


Through the combination of environmental design solutions, the house proactively responds to the challenges of a changing climate in the inner city, thanks to the innovative atrium which single-handedly resolves many of the usual problems encountered in the traditional terrace houses.

As such, Sky Home transforms the experience of living in the inner city, allowing our clients to observe the changing seasons; welcome in the clouds, trees and the sky; and enjoy a unique connection with nature’s elements.


Sustainability Award | shortlist

Habitus House of the Year | shortlist

ArchDaily Building of the Year | nominee




PMI Engineers

Architectural Lighting Design

Tilt Industrial Design


Brett Boardman | photography