Atelier Andy Carson – Headland House


What is the inspiration behind the design?

The property has overwhelming 270’ views encompassing; the ocean, beach, lagoon, rolling green fields and a beautiful tall escarpment, so the landscape is king, it provided an endless source of inspiration.

Headland House is a 4 bedroom home perched high up on an exposed section of the property taking in all the expansive views, it was a no holds barred high end reimagining of a modern farmhouse and gives a sense of being connected but floating within the landscape. It consists of 3 pavilions that form an open U-shape around a protected courtyard, which includes a pool and fire pit, it is set up so you can move around the space and always find a sheltered spot no matter what the season or conditions.

We integrated the project into the land by using materials and colours that already existed on the property in some form and by making the buildings subservient to the landscape in which they sat. The detailing is painstakingly minimal to give precedence to the land around them.

For the color and material palette we took inspiration from the local farm sheds, using black aluminum cladding complemented with tallowood timber, stone, copper and brass.

All the materials will patina and age, it’s going to be fantastic see the buildings change with the weather and time.

The interiors of Headland house employ a light grey accent which was chosen in order to give full precedence to the magnificent blues, greens, oranges and yellows of the landscape outside.

The standout features of the design

With such vast views we created very specific alignments to create powerful and memorable images in the mind of the occupants, its standout feature is how it controls the inhabitants experience of space. Much time was spent carefully aligning every window to very specific framed views and their precise composition. We took compass headings, aligned satellite images with detailed surveys to ensure the various points of interest where captured. The extreme ends of the two main pavilions focus like telescopes on the ocean and the farmlands respectively, incorporating a requested storm viewing room to watch the drama of approaching southerly storm fronts from across the ocean. While the bedrooms offer built in window seats and other personal little moments. In the bathrooms guests can kick back in the bath whilst watching the cows graze on the paddock and the waves crash on the beach beyond. While the courtyard offers a haven from the sometimes harsh winds and chance to dip in the mineral pool or have a glass of wine by the fire pit.


The prominent exposed site for Headland House required a special consideration. How best to respond to the dramatic south facing hill devoid of trees, fully exposed to weather events and heavy winds from the nearby ocean and how to deal with the overwhelming 270-degree views.

The primary solution was to create a protected courtyard house, forming an open ‘U’ shape to the northern sun. This provides refuge from the bitter southern winds and storm fronts. Large retractable sliding doors allow fine tuning dependent on weather conditions. The pavilions are heavily articulated morphing and twisting toward view, sun and protective opportunities.

The Experience

We hope residents and guests feel an immediate sense of calm.

The black metal skin wraps the roof, walls and underbelly with geometric precision, and once inside this cocoon the detailing is painstakingly minimal to give a calming uncluttered feeling.

Moving through the building there are constant little surprises, interesting angles, new views, you are protected inside but you never know what you may see outside; waves, changing tides, whales, lightening, sunrise or sunset, dolphins, passing ships and 100+ dairy cows move across the fields. I hope people experience the rhythm of the land and nature, something often missing from our everyday city lives.

It’s great that this property is available for people to enjoy as a luxury holiday rental, it means that we get great feedback from lots of different visitors. The main thing we keep hearing is that people are floored once they get inside, their emotions are reset and that there is no reason to leave the wonderful sanctuary of the headland.


Headland House

Design, Description: Atelier Andy Carson
Photography: Tom Blachford & Kate Ballis, Michael Nicholson
Location: Gerringong, Australia
Year: 2017

Project Type: Single residential
Size: 400 m2
Site: 602,600 m2
Project Team: Andy Carson, Tom Potter, Catherine Bailey-Smith, Alvin Tsang
Head Contractor: Bellevarde Constructions
Structural Engineer: Ken Murtagh 
Landscape Architects: Peter Glass & Associates Surveyor: Allen, Price & Scarratts

Atelier Andy Carson: Instagram, Contact
Tom Blachford: Instagram, Contact
Kate Ballis: Instagram, Contact
Michael Nicholson: Instagram, Contact