Due to COVID-19 the 2021 Mosman Design Awards have been postponed until 2023

Books House

ArchitectLuigi Rosselli Architects. Project Architect Kristina Sahleström

Set on a steep escarpment on the northern side of Sydney Harbour, the Books House is a series of stratified concrete shelves that sinuously jut out of the landscape, an amplification of the ledges and shelves that characterise the sandstone site. Like a giant stack of books, piled up on a table of sandstone, this house elegantly combines local materials with wide transparent surfaces, pointing to an expansive panorama of the harbour. The rock is integral to the house: from the basement to the uppermost level of the home, the sandstone formations provide a geological scenography. Extending from the rock, the house uses off-form concrete slabs with soft edges, that scissor to create terraces to facilitate a seamless flow between interior and exterior whilst orienting the floors to suit different views. This collection of details and palette of materials combined to create an architecture which speaks of culture and place.


Generous awnings, shutters, cross ventilation a considered application of thermal mass and natural ventilation to minimise the dwellings ongoing environmental impact. Solar paneling on the roof, supplementing the operation of the house, solar hot water units and solar pool heating, whilst the under-croft holds large rainwater tanks.