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Location: Sydney, Australia
Project size: 3,350 square feet

Program: Situated atop a headland ridge, Shiplap House is exposed to intense sunlight, a harsh saline environment, and strong winds. But its perched placement comes with perks—from the top floor, there are spectacular views of Sydney Harbour to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west. Designed by 2010 Design Vanguard Chenchow Little, this ground-up house for a family of five also features secluded gardens for entertaining.

Design Solution: Given its dense context and small plot, Shiplap House aims to balance a sense of enclosure, privacy, and shelter without sacrificing panoramic vistas. Strict planning restrictions required an approach that maximized usable space without disturbing neighbors’ view corridors—to the north, east, and south, the envelope was shaped by offsetting from the property line, while the west facade faces the harbor. Openings in the facade have been strategically placed to frame vignettes of these views—linking inside with out.

Shiplap House Chenchow Little

Photo © Rory Gardiner

Structure and Materials: The eastern suburbs of Sydney, where the residence is located, have drastically changed in recent years. Lavish gardens and large masonry houses have replaced local coastal plantings and weatherboard fisherman cottages of early European settlement. The facade of the Shiplap House is clad with white-painted timber boards that reference the materiality of traditional fishing cottages. Inside, structural walls and ceilings are concrete to provide thermal mass and to assist in cooling during the summer. Ventilation panels adjacent to each window provide natural cross-ventilation and awnings offer shade from the sun while providing a playful pattern on the facade.

Additional Information
Completion date: December 2021
Site size: 0.154 acres
Total construction cost:Withheld
Client/Owner: Withheld

Shiplap House Chenchow Little


Shiplap House Chenchow Little


Shiplap House Chenchow Little


Shiplap House Chenchow Little


Shiplap House Chenchow Little


Y House Saunders


Shiplap House Chenchow Little


Shiplap House Chenchow Little


Shiplap House


Photos © Rory Gardiner

shiplap house floorplan


shiplap house floorplan


Images courtesy Chenlow Little; click to enlarge


Chenchow Little
6 Belmore Street Surry Hills, NSW 2010, Australia
+61 2 9357 4333

Project team
Principals in charge: Stephanie Little, Tony Chenchow
Project team: Joshua Mulford, Mark Hill, Gerald Lau

PMI Engineers (structural)

Sue Barnsley Design (landscape)

General Contractor
Building Options

Rory Gardiner


Exterior Cladding
Wood: Sculptform (Architectural Sorrento Spotted Gum Tongue and Groove Cladding)

Metal: Craft Metals (Standing Seam Aluminum Roofing)

Metal frame: Custom Painted Steel Frames

Sliding doors: Brio Interior Sliding Doors
Special doors: Vitrocsa Glass Sliding and Pivot Doors

Glass: Breezway Altair Louvre Windows, Fixed Glazing in Custom Frames
Skylights: Velux VCS Operable Solar Powered Skylight

Locksets: Lockwood
Pulls: Olivari Lama Door Handles

Interior Finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Briggs Veneer American Oak
Paints and staints: Dulux
Paneling: Sculptform (Architectural Sorrento Banjo Pine Tongue and Groove Cladding)
Solid surfacing: Corian
Special surfacing: Polished Concrete
Floor and wall tile: INAX tiles from Artedomus, Eco Outdoor paving
Special interior finishes unique to this project: American Oak Timber Flooring

B&B Italia Tufty Bed from Space Furniture
Hay Bella Coffee Table
Carl Hansen CH006 dining table and Carl Hansen CH23 dining chairs from Cult Design

Interior ambient lighting: Flos, Vitra