85-87 Bay Street

CategoryContribution to the Built Environment
ArchitectMacCormick Simonian Architects

The design sites two living pavilions, which separated by a courtyard, atop a mass stone base, an extension of the Bay Street rock-cut below. The pavilions contain the living spaces and the ‘secure’ stone base houses the private spaces.

This arrangement affords a direct connection between the internal living spaces and the tennis court (the children’s primary play area). The two pavilions also define the external entertaining courtyard and protect it from the western sun and cold southerly winds. The courtyard in turn becomes the pivotal link between tennis court and western verandah.

The building form and spaces focus views up the full view length up Middle Harbour but also offer the transverse west view.

The planning affords on-grade access to the garden from all rooms, inviting the participants to move out beyond the walls of the house and to make the most of the entire breathtaking site.


  • The thermal mass, cross ventilation, orientation for breezes, and adjustable shading devices regulate the temperature extremes of this west facing site and reduce life-cycle energy requirements. This avoids the need for air-conditioning.
  • All walls are insulated
  • The build and design quality will ensure a long life for the building

Innovative sustainable design elements:

  • External venetian blinds control light and heat-gain to the west and north façades
  • 20,000L rainwater tank connected to the laundry, WC’s, garden, irrigation and pool
  • Low-E glass
  • Courtyard to assist with cross ventilation and light
  • Protected primary entertaining area from winds and west sun
  • Skylights as feature to dark rooms

Environmental footprint of the building is minimised by:

  • The Bay Street rock face remains undisturbed by garaging.
  • The tennis court was retained
  • Site sandstone was reused in the new works
  • The Home automation systems minimises life-cycle energy use
  • Stepped footprint reduces excavation
  • Low water consumption fixtures are used