everyday life occurs on a platform overlooking the sea Designed with the peculiarities of the site and on a sliver of land, the carved white exterior of this award-winning house is a landmark on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk in Sydney. The ground floor is a transparent platform, with large sliding and pivoting glass doors. The basement level is a watery grotto, sandstone carved away to create space, with water pools, shafts of light and strong colours. The bedroom level, a protective cocoon, is a long linear box with light scoops to frame and control views, privacy and sunlight. At roof level sits a belvedere accessible via a narrow curved stair, a small deck, with built in timber seating and a fireplace, that provides spectacular ocean views. Green features include photovoltaic panels, orientation, rain water and recycled materials. The house allows living and working options on different levels, maximising the small narrow site whilst injecting some fun and fantasy.
    Client: Chris Elliott Location: Sydney, Australia Landscape Architects: Terragram Pty Ltd Main Contractor: Hodge Build Pty Ltd Structural Engineer: O'Hearn Consulting Hydraulic  Engineers: Buckton Lysenko Pty Ltd Size: 250 m2 Status: Built, 2012 Photos: Richard Glover
  • TV Stand

    An exercise in restraint and simplicity How to create a piece of furniture that is functional and not overstated? Chris Elliott recently designed this stand for his own TV in a room with a stunning ocean backdrop. It was important the furniture piece worked with the colours and sensitivities of the room, not detract from the views, be future proof, and be functional for a family to use. The low-profile cabinet is designed for a contemporary interior and was designed to look equally good from the front; or the rear so it can be placed in front of windows or walls. Small castors allow the module to be easily moved. A sliding etched blue glass front hides the equipment, and interior dividers are removable to allow easy access, with holes for TV wiring. The unit can be finished in polyurethane to match different wall colours or other furniture and in timber veneer.
  • Seacliff House

    everyday life occurs on a platform overlooking the sea Designed with the peculiarities of the site and on a sliver of land, the carved white exterior of this award-winning house is a landmark on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk in Sydney. The ground floor is a transparent platform, with large sliding and pivoting glass doors. The basement level is a watery grotto, sandstone carved away to create space, with water pools, shafts of light and strong colours. The bedroom level, a protective cocoon, is a long linear box with light scoops to frame and control views, privacy and sunlight. At roof level sits a belvedere accessible via a narrow curved stair, a small deck, with built in timber seating and a fireplace, that provides spectacular ocean views. Green features include photovoltaic panels, orientation, rain water and recycled materials. The house allows living and working options on different levels, maximising the small narrow site whilst injecting some fun and fantasy.
    Client: Chris Elliott Location: Sydney, Australia Landscape Architects: Terragram Pty Ltd Main Contractor: Hodge Build Pty Ltd Structural Engineer: O'Hearn Consulting Hydraulic  Engineers: Buckton Lysenko Pty Ltd Size: 250 m2 Status: Built, 2012 Photos: Richard Glover
  • Hyland House

    a small intervention vastly improves lifestyle An old terrace in inner city Sydney, its rear dilapidated, bordering on potential collapse. An innovative solution opens up the house to the garden and lets in more light. The new bathroom is broken up into separate components to avoid obstructing the flow of the house. A shower area is an internal courtyard with translucent glass walls and doors with a retractable glass roof allowing light to flood in. The WC and laundry are in a small space opposite that aligns with the kitchen elements and staircase. The sleek kitchen runs along one wall and high windows allow light and fresh air into the space. Under floor heating warms the concrete floors. A timber deck with built-in BBQ, seating and storage creates a usable open space, improving the connection between the interior and exterior. A timber-slatted fence with selective parts missing maximises the view while solid screening sections create privacy. A small intervention vastly improves lifestyle with the entire site at ground level becoming a living space. 
    Client: Michael Hyland Location: Sydney, Australia Contractor: Nessbit Constructions Structural Engineer: Meinhardt Size: 26sqm extension Status: Built, 2011 Photos: Richard Glover
  • Buckton House

    ramshackle rear transformed  A Victorian terrace house with ramshackle rear additions is transformed into a contemporary residence with this design concept. The design sees rear additions removed to make way for an internal courtyard and a new rear pavilion, housing a sitting room and garage with a bedroom above. The kitchen, courtyard, sitting room and garage form a sequence of linked, completely openable spaces with a continuous stone floor, which serves to increase the apparent size of the site. The garage can be converted from a purely utilitarian space to valuable additional living space, an important objective in a time of increasing urban density. Timber slats around the new bedroom balcony above address privacy issues from adjacent gardens.
    Client: Undisclosed Location: Sydney, Australia Structural Engineers: Lamaro Associates Status: Unbuilt, 2007
  • House in Bronte

    A new structure emerges from the old A strong linear element (red) houses services and defines the eastern edge of the living/garden space. A curved form (orange) projects from the linear element allowing space for a bathroom. The boundary between the living and garden space is dissolved with glass. A raw concrete floor overhangs the pool and rises up to form kitchen benches. A small courtyard, a ghost of the earlier courtyard it replaces, separates the new parts of the house from the old and functions as an outdoor extension of the kitchen. Above, uncoated steel forms oversail the living/garden space with minimal support from three steel posts. A skewed box (blue) projects from the bedroom suite allowing for a generous showering place with a distant rooftop view. A glass bridge connects the bedroom suite to an attic. The composition of contemporary forms maximises the space, both physically and visually.
    Client: Undisclosed Location: Sydney, Australia Partners: Terragram Pty Ltd, Meinhardt Pty Ltd Size: 310m2 Status: Built, 2005 Photos: Richard Glover
  • Hamilton House

    red box, glass box This fine old house in Sydney's eastern suburbs had poorly designed additions at the rear, effectively separating the house from the existing garden and swimming pool. CEA's concept added a sequence of rooms, cascading down to the level of the garden, mediating between the original house and the leafy garden and pool. Formally it consisted of a two storey red box penetrated by a glass box containing a new kitchen/dining room that hovers slightly above the garden level. The living room, a large space with a high ceiling suitable for display of contemporary artworks, opens to the pool and garden via a large glass door that can be raised, disappearing into the thickness of the wall above.
    Client: Undisclosed Location: Sydney, Australia Status: Concept, 2003
  • Glass House

    an energy efficient free-form glass structure A competition entry explores the possibilities of the glasshouse of the 21st century. The latest techniques in glass technology, computer modelling and CNC generate a freely formed glass roof as dramatic and exciting as the great glasshouses of the 19th century. It questions the perceived surface nature, form and energy performance of a glasshouse. The project proposed a spatial skin composed of a double layer of double-curved interlocking cast glass tiles separated by curved steel trusses, supported by steel posts on a four metre grid. A separate 'box' section houses the more private functions like bathrooms and bedrooms. Sustainable features include walls and roofs of glass or silica; an outer layer of photo-electrochemical or PEC glass that produces electricity; an inner layer of electrochromic or 'smart-glass' that can change from translucent to opaque in response to climactic conditions; a double skin that generates insulation; natural cross-ventilation via movable glass walls and openable windows; a stack effect that draws cooler air from outside in; and roof water collected in an underwater tank. An architectural experiment. A marvellous light-filled space.
    Client: Undisclosed Location: Japan Status: Competition, 2001
  • Priddle House

    bold scoops bring light This project for a young family involved adding a living room, kitchen, dining room, study and laundry to the rear of a federation house in Sydney's northern suburbs. In a future second stage a new attic bedroom and en-suite could be constructed within the existing roof, opening onto a large timber deck above the living room. The design provides what was lacking in the existing residence: an abundance of sunshine, light and a strong visual connection to the magnificent trees and garden on the site. The new living areas are composed essentially of two volumes: a steel and glass box housing the living room and a solid masonry box containing the kitchen and dining room. A number of openings are punched through and a "light-scoop" projects out from it. A pyramidal glass skylight pierces the roof of the glass box. These 'light-scoops' continue CEA's on-going exploration of ways of bringing light into the solid mass of a building.
    Client: Undisclosed Location: Sydney, Australia Status: Built, 2000 Photos: Walter Glover
  • Klompé House

    A gallery to live in The clients wanted a gallery that they could live in. The gallery is on two levels arranged around an internal courtyard and was designed to accommodate their extensive collection of contemporary Australian art. The gallery section is composed of a number of intersecting volumes held together by a double-height central spine. Externally, each of the volumes is a different colour, while the spine is red. Internally the colour scheme is muted allowing the artworks to be displayed to best effect. At the north end of the spine is a glazed opening that challenges the perceived notion of window.
    Client: Jack and Isabella Klompé Location: Sydney, Australia Status: Built, 1999 Photos: Walter Glover
  • Barangaroo

    small and large scale elements retain character This project envisaged a new life for the redundant dockyards at the western edge of the Sydney CBD, now known as Barangaroo. It proposed major and small-scale elements without erasing the character of the area. Large-scale elements such as the wharves and the Argyle Cut contrast small scale finely textured terrace housing of the 19th century in the adjacent Rocks precinct. The scheme continues this contrast with a dramatic large scale urban park rising up to the level of the adjacent terrace houses. A canal-side housing precinct, a housing laboratory, is designed by different architects with the latest innovations in environmentally friendly row housing. Nearby is a zone of commercial office buildings with a fully accessible and a public green roof-scape. A large park rises from sea level with an urban beach and pool. Small visually connected spaces create intimate spaces for different user groups. A necklace of piazzette link these to pedestrian laneways, canals and streets.
    Location: Sydney Partners: Terragram and Monckton Fyfe Status: International Design Competition, 2005
  • Federation Square

    light refracts, reflects and penetrates architectural space CEA was one of five finalists in this international competition for a major urban public space celebrating Australia’s centenary of Federation. The space holds cultural facilities, restaurants, cafés and a public open space. The CEA concept was a ‘crystalline metaphor’, based on the reflection and refraction of light through transparent or translucent surfaces - crystals, ice cubes, broken glass. The gently sloping site includes a bluestone plinth crossed at the base by two long buildings, beams that transect the site. One is an exhibition gallery of sandstone, the other a multi-media discovery gallery of bright red enamelled steel. Glass prisms pierce these beams forming the wintergarden roof and creating shards of light to form negative or inverse space, voids that echo the space above and the sky itself. It affords protection from cold southerly winds and creates a large sun-trap. The central concern is the exploration of light as it refracts, reflects and penetrates into architectural space.
    Client: Victorian Government Location: Melbourne, Australia Status: International Design Competition, Finalist, 1997
  • Visions for Green Square

    a water-filled future CEA won the first national ideas competition for re-developing the 240 ha site in south Sydney with a scheme that extended the Alexandra Canal into a large water basin. A network of canals lined with four to ten storey apartment buildings terminates with a water basin surrounded by an entertainment complex, retail centre and transport interchange. A new valley connects this area to a major new area of habitation. Road bridges convey the traffic seven metres above the valley, with pedestrian and cycle ways passing below, providing safe places of work, travel and play. Excavated earth from the site creates an enormous embankment, a green buffer zone separating the new housing areas from the main arterial road. It features a vast amphitheatre for outdoor events and theatre. Clean fill generates a large ramped ziggurat providing spectacular views towards the city and Botany Bay. The jury described it as a "brave, imaginative and achievable future, an exciting and evocative description of the future for South Sydney sourced in its heritage.”
    Client: South Sydney Council Location: Sydney, Australia Size: 240 ha Status: International Competition, First Prize 1995
  • Green Square Town Centre

    A hyper-dense concept for a twenty first century town centre incorporates green walls and roofs, waterways and connections at multiple levels.
    Client: Sydney City council Status: Design competition
  • Re-Public Park

    marks on a redundant quarry  An international competition was held to explore ideas for the Brickpit, adjacent to Sydney’s Olympics site. 'The Indigenous moves through the land, dwells and records with little modification. The coloniser tames the landscape, imposing pattern.' Can these be reconciled? The CEA concept places a ring of casurina trees at the site edge to make the Olympics development invisible. A major ramp leads down to the brickpit and rises again into the Bi-Centennial mangrove swamps. A bridge leads across the wetlands to a square platform of grass. Further wanderings lead to a grassy mound, to industrial ruins, a lake. Wetlands are extended, and a forest of native species expands. Three main constructed elements - ramp, timber platforms and lookouts and mound - are connected by paths of pit materials - white line (from white shale), black line (black shale), brick line, stepping stones. They intersect and blend into rubble-paved areas, blurring the lines between the constructed and the extant. The former industrial sheds are retained as shelter and slowly allowed to decay.
    Client: Undisclosed Location: Sydney, Australia Status: International Ideas Competition, 3rd Prize, 1998
  • Green City – Osaka

    an ecological satellite An international urban design competition called for the re-vitalisation of a derelict railway yard in the northern part of Osaka. An opportunity to develop a visionary model for the twenty-first century city, CEA's concept saw buildings treated as living surfaces, draped as a terrain across the various building masses and programmatic elements. A second skin, an artificial topography, was created with the various layers of the building volumes treated as the contours of an imaginary landscape. The entire surface is covered in greenery, a verdant tapestry of vegetation and aquaculture - parks, gardens, agriculture and secondary food producing facades. Growing plants on vertical surfaces creates a harvestable facade and a secondary skin. The various land-use functions overlap and encase one another. For example, buildings that require large floor plates, such as shopping arcades, department stores and parking, occupy 'squat' buildings while those that require light, views and air, such as offices and apartments, occupy the higher and more slender buildings.
    Client: Undisclosed Location: Osaka, Japan Partners: Terragram Pty Ltd Status: International Competition, 2003
  • Biloela

    past legacy, future needs How to reconcile the legacy of the past with the needs of the future? A beautiful island in Sydney harbour - should we touch it? The beauty conceals a fascinating past. Of convict prisoners, of ship builders. And if we do retain its man-made intrusions, at what historical moment should an historic site be frozen? The shortlisted proposal incorporated both park and museum as part of a comprehensive community with a mixture of uses. The project was based on the premise that we need to use urban space more intensively and inventively if we are to address growing population and eliminate urban sprawl.
    Location: Biloela [Cockatoo Island] Sydney, Australia Size: 45Ha Status: International Ideas Competition, Shortlisted, 1996
  • Walla Mulla Park and Bourke Street Park

    small park transformed A small park crowded with anaemic looking trees, dirty, gloomy and unattractive. A railway viaduct running through the space provided shelter for Sydney’s homeless community. How to meet both the demands of the residents and the needs of the local homeless community? Robust structures, ease of maintenance and good visual surveillance were important requirements. Retaining walls and some trees were eliminated to enable better flow through the park, facilitating easier cleaning by council trucks. Comfortable seating allows friendly gatherings. Drains, pits and other places, where drugs could easily be concealed, were eliminated. The amenities structure is incorporated into the large steel trellises that line the two “urban walls” of the park. Vines create a “green waterfall”. Durable materials include galvanised steel, tiled concrete blockwork, polished concrete floors and recycled brick paving. The stainless steel doors were laser cut to a pattern abstracted from the park plan. The Bourke Street Park nearby features an amenity block with patterned stainless steel doors and an inverted roof of galvanised steel.
    Client: Sydney City Council Location: Sydney, Australia Partners: Terragram; Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd; Rooney and Bye Size: Park Site Area 848 sqm; Amenities 16.2 sqm Status: Built, 2011 Photos: Richard Glover
  • Macquarie Street Mall

    carpets and astroturf revitalise a suburban mall The rejuvenation of the southern part of a suburban mall called for networked objects, structures and landscape elements. An amphitheatre, informal seating, soft landscaping, shade, an iconic meeting place and a strong gesture to mark the area were also required. Two concepts were developed by CEA. “Magic Carpet” extended a grassy mound providing a soft green space for people to sit, eat their lunch and just relax, re-emerging at other points providing extra seating and helping to integrate the project with the remaining mall area. The spacing of the battens on a shade structure in a free-form curved shape was modulated, as in a musical score, to alter the amount of shade and protection offered at various points. “Tectonic Plates” used shifting platforms of red astroturf for informal seating and extended further along the mall, helping to integrate the project with the other areas. Hydroponically grown vines provide shade via a suspended stainless steel cable net. “Foreign Script Seats” referenced the ethnically diverse area.
    Client: Liverpool Council Location: Liverpool, Sydney, Australia Status: Concept, 2003
  • Festival Exhibition Centre

    a radical, sensual and dynamic structure An exhibition structure needed to capture the attention of commuters. And be column-free with a 4m high opening all around with a strong and unusual visual image. Using the standard framing system of the “aluminium hall” as a point of departure, a free-form structure was developed. CAD/CAM technology fabricated the b-spline curved trusses to produce the required shape. The fabric is draped over the structure and stretched down. The opening walls were an inexpensive tie-down system or a vertical curtain system. Bold graphics and colour, exciting new form, and a new kind of decoration were combined to create an arresting visual image. An intriguing spatial quality with internal graphics and lighting ensures that visiting the pavilion is an experience. The graphic treatment includes definitions of the words “festive, festival, festivity and festoon”, adding vitality by treating the structure itself as message.
    Client: FDC Location: Mt. Penang Gardens, NSW, Australia Status: Concept, 2002
  • Oslo Opera House

    blurring the real and the imaginary The design concept for a new opera house is an architectural experience that enhances the journey into the unknown, the mystical and the beyond, blurring the line between real and imaginary. Three primary components are the plinth (housing admin and back of house), the theatres, and the foyers. The forms are inspired by the dynamism and fluidity of ballet and the drama of the Norwegian landscape. The rugged landscape, the glaciers carving through, the brightly coloured villages. The design has many moods, and the ‘frozen music’ of the roof and walls contrasts the golden colour of the interiors. 
    Location: Oslo, Norway Status: International Competition entry, 2000
  • The Stub

    abandoned fragment goes green The concept for this redundant piece of concrete freeway was part landscape, part artwork. It filled The Stub, an abandoned fragment of the roads structure in Sydney’s CBD, with shade-loving rainforest vines whilst commenting on the issue of global warming. "FORM ONE LANE", as seen on our freeway signs, became a bold red sign saying "FORM ONE PLANET". The design also commented on Sydney's regular water shortages, acting as an eco-barometer of the state of our most precious resource. An ingenious system of tanks, pipes and pulleys are connected to a vine-covered wire mesh. Water run-off from the freeway above is collected in a large tank, channelled to fill several large water bags. The weight of the water raises different parts of the mesh as the water level in the main tank rises. In times of heavy rainfall the topography becomes greener. In dry periods it becomes flatter and the vines take on a brownish hue. A salutary reminder of the state of our planet's resources.
    Client: City of Sydney Location: Sydney, Australia Partners: Terragram Pty Ltd; Demlakian Associates Status: Invited Design Competition, First Prize, 2006
  • Shrine

    monument of dirt, palings, lettuce A transient monument to nothing in particular was constructed from dirt, fence palings and iceberg lettuce. The “shrine” lasted briefly during the Mt Penang Garden Festival of 2001. Afterwards, the palings were recycled, the dirt was returned to its hole and the lettuce, which was mostly still edible, was dropped off at an inner Sydney hostel for the homeless.
    Client: Festival Development Corporation Location: Kariong, NSW, Australia Status: Landscape Competition First Prize, 2001
  • Garangula

    a bold intervention The proposal was for a new guesthouse and private gallery, a bold intervention in the landscape that avoided the common notions of the 'country garden' or 'Aussie shed'. Rather it opted for new and less predictable ways of relating to the grandeur of the Australian landscape. The concept involved a strong linear element emerging from the ground. The other end, buried, leads into a series of underground caverns creating a mysterious waterscape as a backdrop for the display of contemporary art.
    Client: Undisclosed Location: Southern NSW, Australia Partners: Terragram Pty Ltd  Status: Concept, 2007
  • Dinnigan Studio

    light shines on fashion studio Three projects were commissioned by international fashion designer Collette Dinnigan. The first was a shop fit out in Paddington; the second a design studio in Rushcutter's Bay; and the third was this warehouse studio in Surry Hills. The project consisted of two parts - the interior re-furbishing of a large brick warehouse including insertion of a new mezzanine level, and the second part was proposed additions at the rear of the building which did not proceed. A series of watercolour studies for those proposed additions played with colour and form and combined simple forms with a variety of unconventional ways of admitting light.
    Client: Collette Dinnigan Location: Sydney, Australia| Photos: Richard Glover Status: Built 2002