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Leaf House, Sydney. Undercurrent architects_13

Project Details:

Leaf House. Sydney, Australia

Year: 2007 – 2009


Leaf House is a building that celebrates the wild Australian landscape, allowing users to be inside and in-Nature at the same time.

The building draws on organic forms and natural forces, expressing these within the structure and elements of the building, creating connections between in and outside.

It responds to a beautiful location in-the-round, constantly changing shape in relation to its surroundings and developing a presence unique from every aspect.

The design incorporates environmental principles including a passive heating/cooling system, low energy lighting, appliance and power systems, rainwater retention techniques and the use of site-sourced materials. It combines these with both high & low-tech material applications to produce a building that is harmonious, responsive and engages both occupants and the environment.



Design themes:

–        Integration of inside and outside space

–        Integration of building and landscape

–        Wild, organic structure; in context with the surrounding

–        Multi – perspective, dynamic spatial experience; constantly changing at every instance

–        Metaphorical motifs: leaf / tree / fire / branch / cloud / rain / earth

–        Haiku in architecture; the building was influenced by the Haiku poetic form with succinct and compressed meaning in 3 lines and 5/7/5 syllables.

–        Hand-made, improvised building quality

–        Planning Permission contrary to Policy


Leaf House – Sydney Studio from Babekuhl on Vimeo.

Project Team:

Undercurrent Architects : Didier Ryan, German Perez Tavio, Claudia Youl

Jack Hodgson Engineers; Elliotwood Llp

Photography: Hugh Rutherford







On-site construction

Stop motion sequence


Leaf house by Malou Dunkley

Leaf house by Marc Gerritsen