Inside Superhouses of the World

You're invited into homes designed by the world's most dynamic architects currently on display at the Museum of Sydney.
Inside Superhouses of the World

River view of The Goulding Summerhouse, Ireland, Scott Tallon Walker Architects, 1971-73, restored 2002. Photo © Richard Powers.

'How do you want to live?'

It’s a simple question posed by architects to their clients.

However, its simplicity doesn’t make it any less a bombshell. 

An architect can feel like a fairy godmother to clients who, after many years of modern matchbox apartment living in dreary capital cities for the sake of a career, or emotion-laden ties to generational suburban homes, are finally offered the freedom to live a fantasy without limits. With sufficient resources, they can say at last, ‘I can live as I choose and I can have exactly what I want.’


Croft House (bedroom), Inverloch, Victoria, Australia, James Stockwell Architect, 2013. Photo © John Gollings

Combine this exhilarating freedom with the skill and knowledge of today’s crop of dynamic, imaginative architects, and the door opens to new worlds that inspire, that break down barriers to possibility, that are natural and healthy for the inhabitant, that reflect who they really are. It’s this kind of environment that makes a Superhouse.

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House at Toro Canyon (rooftop view), California, USA, Barton Myers Associates, 1998. Photo © Richard Powers

Karen McCartney is an Belfast-born Sydney architecture and design author with global experience in creating dreams. Her book of the world’s shining jewels in architecture, created with photographer Richard Powers, forms the blueprint for an immersive exhibition open at the Museum of Sydney, 29 August to 29 November 2015: Superhouse: architecture and interiors beyond the everyday.

Sydney Living Museums’ exhibition and talks series invites audiences into the living rooms and backyards of residents who dared to live in unusual ways. 

Three buildings are the focus: Almere House (Benthem Crouwel Architeken, 1982-1984) in The Netherlands, Astley Castle (Witherford Watson Mann, 2013) in Warwickshire, Englandā€‹  and the Solo House (Pezo von Ellrichshausen, 2009-2012) in Spain.


Almere House, The Netherlands, Benthem Crouwel Architekten, 1982-1984. Photo © Richard Powers.


Astley Castle (dining room), England, Witherford Watson Mann Architects, 2013. Photo © Richard Powers.


Solo House (terrace view), Spain, Pezo von Ellrichshausen Architects, 2009-2012. Photo © Richard Powers.

Whether the home is an ancient castle or concrete box built overnight, small and bare or large and lavish, set by a river or inside a mountain - the collection of spaces is sure to spark conversation about how we see “home”.