Inside architect Matthew Woodward’s Wallis Lake House – one of Australia’s most sought-after homes

A box-like house beside a lake known as the ‘sparkling jewel’ of the New South Wales coastline is one of Australia’s most sought-after properties.

The flat-roofed two-storey on the shore of Wallis Lake, in Whoota on the NSW Mid-North Coast, was shortlisted for the 2020 Houses Awards, where 10 of the country’s finest properties were recognised across nine residential design categories on July 31.

Built by Sydney construction firm PCM Projects and designed by architect Matthew Woodward, the house overlooks the water on one side and the rolling hills of Booti Booti National Park on the other, capturing the view like a photograph in its enormous timber-framed windows.

Mr Woodward deliberately encased the three-bedroom in recycled wood and other natural materials to blur the lines between the inanimate structure and the vibrant life of the lush landscape surrounding it.

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Wallis Lake House on the New South Wales Mid-North Coast, shortlisted as one of Australia's finest small houses

Wallis Lake House on the New South Wales Mid-North Coast, shortlisted as one of Australia’s finest small houses

The master bedroom overlooks the water, capturing the view like a photograph in its enormous timber-framed windows

The master bedroom overlooks the water, capturing the view like a photograph in its enormous timber-framed windows

The house is split into two structures – one concrete and one timber – connected by a courtyard lined with native kangaroo grass, and sustainability is at the heart of every inch.

Water flows into taps from a 40,000 litre rainwater tank while grey water leftover from laundry is recycled for use in the garden, where plots provide fresh food to lucky owner Adam Haughey who spends weekends at the house.

No detail that lends itself to self-sufficiency has been overlooked – there’s even a herb box embedded into a stainless steel benchtop in the kitchen.

The house is heated by solar panels which stretch along the overhanging eaves of the roof, and ventilated during hot summer months with movable screens that can be adjusted to cast shade over the facade. 

Every self-sufficient weekend retreat should have a herb box embedded into a stainless steel benchtop in the kitchen

Every self-sufficient weekend retreat should have a herb box embedded into a stainless steel benchtop in the kitchen

The house is heated by solar panels which stretch along overhanging eaves

A green roof covered in grass and hanging succulents that sits over the kitchen and main living area regulates indoor temperature when the mercury soars - and plummets - at different times of the year

A green roof covered in grass and hanging succulents (right) that sits over the kitchen and main living area (left) regulates indoor temperature when the mercury soars – and plummets – at different times of the year

Architect Matthew Woodward deliberately used a blend of natural and industrial materials to blur the lines between the inanimate structure and the vibrant life of the lush landscape surrounding it

Architect Matthew Woodward deliberately used a blend of natural and industrial materials to blur the lines between the inanimate structure and the vibrant life of the lush landscape surrounding it

A green roof covered in grass and hanging succulents that sits over the kitchen and main living area regulates indoor temperature when the mercury soars – and plummets – at different times of the year. 

The kitchen, which is illuminated by skylights carved into the concrete, backs onto two guest bedrooms and a shared bathroom, while up the wooden staircase is a loft-style master bedroom flooded with natural light.

A section of timber screening outside the main bedroom opens mechanically, giving those inside an unrestricted view of the lake’s rippling surface.

The house is split into two structures - one concrete and one timber - connected by a courtyard (pictured) lined with native kangaroo grass

The house is split into two structures – one concrete and one timber – connected by a courtyard (pictured) lined with native kangaroo grass

The house is so alluring that Architecture Australia warned 'it may induce early retirement plans in any who visit'

The house is so alluring that Architecture Australia warned ‘it may induce early retirement plans in any who visit’

Beside the main building is a 'shed' complete with a kitchenette, enormous work space and, somewhat bizarrely ¿ a skateboarding half-pipe

Beside the main building is a ‘shed’ complete with a kitchenette, enormous work space and, somewhat bizarrely – a skateboarding half-pipe

Beside the main building is a ‘shed’ complete with a kitchenette, enormous work space and, somewhat bizarrely – a skateboarding half-pipe.

Architect Matthew Woodward describes Wallis Lake House as ‘a place for people to come together to celebrate human existence on the land and experience the serenity of the ever-changing landscape’. 

The house is so alluring that Architecture Australia warned ‘it may induce early retirement plans in any who visit’.

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