Snorkel House | Philip Leeson Architects

2020 ACT Architecture Awards

Snorkel House | Philip Leeson Architects | Photographer: Ben Wrigley

2020 ACT Architecture Awards: People's Choice

Snorkel House | Philip Leeson Architects

Residential Architecture - Houses (Alterations and Additions)

Snorkel House is an adaptive re-use project of an existing brick home in the inner north suburb of Campbell. Critical components of the project brief concerned improving privacy, indoor/outdoor transitions, spatial flexibility and thermal performance; and resolving the existing, poorly configured interior.

Snorkel House provides private courtyard spaces and a discreet front entrance; a private parents retreat with improved spatial separation; north-facing children’s bedrooms with direct connection to the exterior; and a modest yet unconventional new street address to the eastern frontage.

The large regulated eucalyptus tree on the neighbour’s block provided a great opportunity for a playful gesture to the street in the form of the snorkel. The snorkel draws northern light into the sitting room, and views of the sky and tree beyond. At night time, the snorkel illuminates as an orange beacon in the suburban streetscape, a signal of the domestic life within.

Snorkel House | Philip Leeson Architects | Photographer: Ben Wrigley

Client perspective:
How does the design benefit the way you live/work/play/operate/educate/other?

The design of our renovation has magically inserted what feels like a whole new house into our existing double brick home. What was previously a terrible layout is now a flexible and well thought out floor plan that lets us open and close sections as required, and fully utilise every square centimetre of indoor and outdoor space. Although our kids are young now, the design allows for future changes to the way areas are used, and we feel confident that the house will continue to work for us until well after the kids have grown up and moved out.


Practice team

Sarah Truscott – Project Architect


Schouten Constructions – Builder

Northrop Consulting Engineers – Structural Engineer

Certified Building Solutions – Building Surveyor

AJP Engineering – Energy Assessor

Ben Wrigley – Photographer

Our partners

Principal Partner
Major National Partners
National Corporate Partners
National Supporting Partners

​National Insurance Partner

National Media Partner

Chapter partners

Major Chapter Partner
Chapter Partners
Chapter Awards Partners
Awards Category Partners
People's Choice Partners