Mosman House by Mathieson Architects

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    Overlooking Sydney Harbour’s North Head, the minimalist Mosman House by Mathieson Architects exudes a refined luminance.

    Sydney-based architectural design studio Mathieson Architects honour their core philosophy of a strong sense of scale, form and material in their meticulous design of this three-level home. Once a vacant site located on the slopes of Mosman above Chinaman’s Beach, Mosman House is built with generous proportions that give way to streams of natural light.

    Adopting a monochromatic palette and simple geometry, the Mosman house is an environment which invites tranquillity. As Mathieson Architects design director Phillip Mathieson says, “light, proportion, materiality, and subtle details are utilised throughout the residence to create a sense of understated luxury.”

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     The elongated island bench provides ample room for cooking and entertainment, leading the focus to the view outdoors.

    The home’s brief centred around maximising views of the harbour while creating a spacious and light-filled family home, with areas for privacy as well as entertainment. The site takes in the bay of Chinaman’s beach, across to Manly and around to Middle Harbour and Clontarf.

    Mathieson Architects aimed to create spacious interior environments which capture the movement of light throughout the day by introducing large floor-to-ceiling windows. The studio also hoped to create a quiet mood with moments of darker contrast.

    The existing Angophora tree is a unique feature of the Mosman House which was maintained and incorporated within the design. The presence of the mature Angophora tree was a challenge, but Mathieson Architects saw it as an opportunity for a site-specific design.

    The floor plan includes four bedrooms and ensuite, a gym and wellness room, and a private garden and pool. The interior layout ensures a focus toward the framed view of the harbour across all three levels. Private areas reside in the middle layers of the residence, with social spaces surrounding above and below. “The ordered spaces throughout this family home are designed as internal envelopes to capture the subtlety of changing light and evoke a sense of calm,” Philip Mathieson says. “To achieve this atmosphere a minimal material palette is used throughout.”

    “Light, proportion, materiality, and subtle details are utilised throughout the residence to create a sense of understated luxury.”

    – Phillip Mathieson

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    Christian Liaigre Mandarin chairs in the fireplace area, creating a space for conversation and relaxation.

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    The living and dining area features a series of custom-designed pieces, including sofa, coffee table, daybed and custom dark stained oak credenza with lime-washed elm timber.

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    Plastered walls, terrazzo floors and Carrara marble capture and reflect natural light. Moments of contrast are created with darker accents such as stained oak and black joinery. In the kitchen, the elongated island bench featuring a black steel frame and honed granite benchtop, with lime-washed Elmwood joinery underneath. The home’s signature terrazzo floor continues to the master ensuite and powder room, with slab Carrara marble walls.

    The Mosman House, through Mathieson Architects’ collaboration with FREE-MAN, features custom furniture pieces such as the sofa, coffee table and daybed in the living room. In the dining room, the Molteni Chelsea Dining Chairs surround a custom-made dining table featuring a bronze frame and Pietra Grey marble top. In the bedroom, the bedhead, robes and bedside tables are custom-made from white-washed wire-brushed American Ash, coupled with Viabizzuno Roy lamps. The same brushed American Ash was also used in the master ensuite’s vanity.

    Mathieson Architects’ subtle play of dark and light in the Mosman House not only results in a serene sense of simplicity but a focus on the home’s exceptional connection with the surrounding environment. 

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    The Roy Tavolo Table Lamp by Mario Nanni for Viabizzuno in the bedroom.

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    “To create a calm atmosphere a concise and restrained material palette of predominately durable natural materials was selected, which is a common theme of design thinking for the studio.”

    – Phillip Mathieson

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