Season 02 - Episode 01

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The Clifton Garden House is one Sydney SANDCASTLE that demands attention. Built on one of the harbor’s quieter north shore coves it tells the story of what can be achieved when blood is thicker than well in this case concrete.

Designed by Architect, Louise Nettleton for her cousin Belinda Pulver and her husband Bill Pulver, this is a family home wrapped in a full uncompromising masonry jacket. 

At first glance, its clear brave decisions were made in pushing the limits of what was possible. The house in part seems to defy gravity with its souring cantilevers but the architectural magicians tricks are everywhere. One has to question a bed made of concrete, that I found out, is surprisingly comfy.

Built over the sandstone foundations of an old federation cottage, the new house needed enough room for four teenagers, a home office, pool and entertaining areas. The result was a house effectively split in two, with the central stair linking four levels. Even the main living area is built of concrete but is cut, sliced and diced in a way that retains its power while allowing light to enter through all manner of openings, including windows based on fish gills.

Usually it’s the architect who challenges clients to try something daring.  In this case, it was the owners who wanted something different and gave the family architect free rein.  The result went beyond everyone’s expectations. 

The house in this episode has been designed for a family who are very dear to me and very much a part of our “extended family”.  For me, it is the highest accolade for an architect to have a relative demonstrate their confidence in you by granting such a commission.  There are always the requisite bumps along the way however overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable journey, I believe for all involved.’ – Louise Nettleton (Architect)

This is a house full of big personalities, big expectations, and big ideas on all levels the Pulver House will not be forgotten any time soon.