Australian Prime Minister’s


The Lodge on the Lake

In collaboration with Henry Stephens & Jack Davies

Residence for the Prime Minister of Australia, 1st Place Entry
Traditional Custodians ︎ The Ngunnawal People
Canberra, Australia

This design stood out as one that most successfully integrates the built forms with the subtle landscape of Attunga Point: it responsibly owns the landscape; it is beautifully sited and it celebrates the lake edge location. Casual, yet imposing, it reflects the informal nature of contemporary Australian lifestyles and architecture, while providing attractive larger spaces for public gatherings. “


-Jury Comments

The Lodge on the Lake is an exercise in contrasting two dominant patterns in Australian residential building. One is the endless proliferation of suburban development outward along the ground plane, a feature of Australian settlement patterns from the post-war generation onward. The second is the tendency for high-end residential architecture to be more engaged with the view beyond, than the land on which it sits. Through its critique of these patterns, the Lodge offers a broader repertoire for occupying the site that promotes a greater diversity of relationships between landscape and dwelling that exist in Australia.

Formally, the lodge is anchored by a split courtyard form, the front half is sunk down into the earth forming a thickened, occupiable plinth on which the private volumes rest, while ancillary programs radiate out across the site. The form augmented as a response to ground creates constantly changing spatial conditions across the site resists the architecture being reduced to an idealised object.

Externally, the building both enfolds the landscape and is subsumed by it. Retaining walls draw visitors into a choreographed entry sequence, pulling them through the earth in a series of intermediary spaces.

Environmentally, the topography is manipulated so water collection areas align with circulation patterns. These culminate in a series of carefully placed water detention areas, dedicated to purifying water, irrigation, and the prevention of flooding and erosion.

Internally, the courtyard form generates a series of volumes that accommodate both intimate spaces of repose and a monumental scale for public assembly. These varied spaces are carefully oriented to the changing level of the topography outside. The intent is to encourage inhabitants to find their way through a site where built-form is occupied like land-form.

From the composed house atop a plinth, to the slippages and interpolations that unravel down toward the lake, the lodge on the lake is a democratic marriage of terroir and typology, private dwelling, and public assembly.