At first glance, you wouldn’t look at Skyspace House and think that it’s a “BALFZ house”. The design cleverly mitigates the most stringent specifications required of a Flame Zone Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) and creates rooms among the tree tops for the owners to enjoy year-round.

Central to the design was ensuring the home felt as if it was a part of the natural landscape; the sloping nature of the site meant that placing the new living spaces up on steel stilts was an obvious decision. The home feels elevated off the ground akin to a childhood tree house. The dramatic spiral stair also helps create a feeling of elevation on arrival.

At the front of the house, the framed external courtyard highlights views to the surrounding native Australian landscape from within, while framing the sky and trees on approach. The steep slope means that the underside of the house is highly visible, thus great care was taken to ensure this elevation was as well considered as the rest of the house.

The exterior of the house features brick, fibre-cement cladding and corten steel with timber accents. Inside, a curved timber clad ceiling echoes the curved corners of the exterior and discretely hides bushfire shutters. Care was taken to detail the balustrade so the timbers would blend in with the outlook onto tree trunks.

Photographed by Jackie Chan