Olive Tree House | Bastian Architecture

2024 National Architecture Awards Program

Olive Tree House | Bastian Architecture

Traditional Land Owners
Worimi People

New South Wales



Residential Architecture – Houses (New)
Smart Additions
Project summary

Olive Tree House is a new urban infill project, it has been designed to challenge the Australian norm of housing, it is half the size of an average Australian home, sits on a site half the size of an average site and provides flexible – rather than large spaces.

Situated within sight of Stockton beach and the Hunter river the house responds to the coastal location. Planned for the inevitable summer afternoons at the beach and winter afternoons on the deck the house is flexible and allows for parts of the house to be left open to catch the coastal breeze or connect to the winter sun. The mature Olive tree is retained to provide shade and habitat for the site.

It is a small house in which every metre works hard to provide quality living spaces.

New South Wales Architecture Awards Accolades
Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New)
Region Jury Citation

Olive Tree House presents a delightful model for increasing the density of our suburbs, cleverly navigating planning controls to deliver a comfortable family home on half the average lot size.

Despite the modest building footprint, the living spaces feel dynamic and generous due to the courtyard arrangement and connections to the broader landscape. The house wraps around a large, existing olive tree at the centre of the plan and opens up to the side lane, taking advantage of the relatively private outlook while inviting casual interactions with passing neighbours.

Careful internal planning and inventive details ensure that every square metre is working hard. Rooms and circulation spaces take on multiple functions and extensive built-in furniture doubles as storage. Material selections, such as the painted sheet cladding, proprietary awnings and timber windows, are appropriate to their context as well as the aspiration that others might follow this house’s lead.

The house has really changed how we live, the flexibility of the plan makes entertaining just as easy as day to day living. I love how the house engages with the street and doesn’t dominate the streetscape.
As a non-designer I was originally hesitant designing to the western lane however the borrowed views to the laneway are great and the house is well shaded by the olive tree, timber batten screening and external blinds.
I like the connection to the old house; the use of familiar materials and the new security screen is an interpretation of the neighbouring front door.

Connect with Bastian Architecture
Olive Tree House | Bastian Architecture | Photographer: Katherine Lu

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