The Hilltop House designed by Richard Cole Architecture is located in Sydney, Australia is a small, carefully crafted dwelling on the steep eastern slopes of Pittwater, a beautiful waterway to the north of Sydney. It is surrounded by remnant Spotted Gum Forest and features a magnificent example of this species adjacent to the entrance of the battle-axe block. The compact steel framed house responds to the slope by terracing down the hillside.
Internally the steel structure is carefully expressed. The rooms are composed with a limited palette of materials: the tapered Blackbutt rafters and windows balanced against the warmth of the Jarrah floors and joinery. Rooms are only partially enclosed, with glazed infills between the rafters, highlight and floor level windows always exposing the occupants to the enveloping bush, water, shadows and light. Externally the house is clad in fibre cement sheeting, a common low cost material used in early houses throughout the area. The external cover battens for the cladding align with the exposed rafters and create a vertical rhythm which echoes adjacent tree trunks.