26 Plunkett Rd

CategoryContribution to the Built Environment
ArchitectPopov Bass Architects

The residence contributes towards the built environment of Mosman through its integrated sustainability principles and its thoughtful relationship with the environment and site. The north-east facing house formed like a pavilion above Balmoral Beach spans three levels supported by a forest of tall columns beneath a flat, sinuous roof. A graduated descent through a densely planted courtyard leads to the building’s entrance, through which an expansive view extends across the main living level to the surrounding landscape and the ocean’s horizon beyond.

Throughout the building, the curved lines of the roof are echoed by the internal walls and by two sculptural cut-outs that allow light to penetrate from morning until evening. Lighting, storage and services are integrated seamlessly into the curving walls. A courtyard with an operable roof is located behind the main living area and provides a protected retreat for windy days.


The building relies on sustainable construction and design techniques to create naturally lit and comfortable spaces. Planning of living and recreational spaces with the northerly aspect has facilitated the design of passive lighting, heating and cooling systems to minimise energy consumption and maximise amenity for the residents.

Innovative sustainable design elements:

High thermal mass, deep sunlight penetration in winter, and high performance glazing work to stabilise internal temperatures. These are supplemented by hydronic heating, LED lighting and an extensive 7.7kW peak output photovoltaic system to minimise energy usage. Additionally, a 20,000L rainwater tank supplies excess water to the garden and pool.

Environmental footprint of the building is minimised by:

Passive design was integral to the design process, resulting in a low energy home. The need for active heating and cooling systems is minimised by maximising the building’s reliance on ventilation and sunlight. The photovoltaic system and rainwater tank minimise electricity and water inputs required.