A new exhibition of extraordinary homes

By Maria Kyriacou

Astley Castle, England, Witherford Watson Mann architects, 2013.  Image: Richard Powers.
Astley Castle, England, Witherford Watson Mann architects, 2013. Image: Richard Powers.
Superhouse: architecture and interiors beyond the everyday, is an exhibition by Karen McCartney at the Museum of Sydney, showcasing stunning examples of local and international residential architecture and interiors.

Featuring breathtaking photography by Richard Powers, Superhouse highlights some of the world’s most extraordinary homes and interesting living spaces, from an intimate prefab space designed overnight to a revitalised 16th-century castle.

“The exhibition demonstrates how architectural experimentation and daring can challenge notions of how we should live.  A superhouse delivers a 360-degree completeness of form, its exterior and interior have a seamless execution and above all else, it is awe-inspiring,” said exhibition curator Karen McCartney.

“This quality can be elicited from the perfection of its natural setting, a remarkable use of materials, an exceptional level of craft, ground-breaking innovation or a use of space that lifts the spirit.”

Superhouse reveals fifteen extraordinary houses across five themes: Re-make, Finding Form, Small Spaces, Roof Tops & Skylines and The Land.  From Monza Loft (Lissoni Associati, 2009) in Italy and Skylight House (Chenchow Little, 2013) in Balmain, Sydney, both a showcase for reinvention of existing spaces, to The Trunk House (Paul Morgan Architects, 2011) in Victoria and The Goulding Summerhouse (Scott Tallon Walker Architects, 1971-73) in Ireland, houses that show how small, intimate spaces can exert an architectural power all of their own.

Some examples reveal an extraordinary connection to the landscape on which they sit, such as the award-winning House in Country (Virginia Kerridge, 2010) in the NSW Hunter Valley or The Pierre (Olson Kundig Architects, 2013) in Seattle, a house literally built into a rocky outcrop.  Others showcase a completeness of form, where the exterior and interior are equally resolved, such as the Flinders House (Wood Marsh Architecture, 2012) in Victoria and Masetti House (Paulo Mendes da Rocha, 1969) in Brazil.

The exhibition also includes immersive areas where visitors can get a sense of three inspiring houses through a selection of materials and furnishings:  Almere House (Benthem Crouwel Architeken, 1982-1984) in The Netherlands; Astley Castle (Witherford Watson Mann, 2013) in Warwickshire, England; and the Solo House (Pezo von Ellrichshausen, 2009-2012) in Spain.

“Karen has found some of the most extraordinary houses from around the world, revealing ground-breaking architecture and beautiful living spaces. Visitors to the exhibition will be truly inspired,” said Executive Director of Sydney Living Museums, Mark Goggin.

EXHIBITION:  Superhouse: architecture and interiors beyond the everyday

WHERE:  Museum of Sydney, Cnr Bridge and Phillip Streets, Sydney

WHEN  29 August – 29 November 2015


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