Winner of the 2002 Pritzker Prize, Australian architect Glenn Murcutt designs with the motto “Touch this earth lightly,” carefully integrating every structure into its natural landscape. The Donaldson House, completed in 2016 on Australia’s Palm Beach peninsula and new to the market, is one such example.
Originally conceived as a Sydney area weekend home for a family with three children, the roughly 1,800-square-foot house is almost invisible from the street. Only after descending a set of concrete stairs will you arrive at the upper level of the two-story house, nestled among trees, shrubs, and rocks.
The open-plan interior prioritizes northern sunlight for the main living areas and bedrooms, which have sealed concrete floors and hoop-pine lined ceilings. A colorful midcentury tapestry, Orion M.C. by Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely, brightens the dining area, while large windows throughout the space bring nature inside. In the master bedroom, a window looks right onto to a sandstone rock.
As immersed into its surroundings as it is, the home was also designed to withstand it. The house, located in a high fire-risk zone, was built on reinforced concrete foundations, with steel roof rafters and toughened glass, plus black-weathered zinc cladding. It also comes with water storage tanks and solar panels. Price is available upon request.