Perched over an escarpment of sun dappled boulders, with the prehistoric forms of tree ferns and towering gums making every view one of bushland oasis, sits the home and studio which the notable Sydney-based architect, Jim Bryant, built for himself.
‘Chateaubriand’ constructed in the 1960s and updated here and thereafter, is a veritable check-list of Mid-Century Modern dreaming including the elemental considerations of divided pavilions (one for resting, one for living), a Japanese influence in space, flow and divides, perfect orientation over a tricky slope to capture the northern sun complimented by the employment of a solid, unadorned material palette – concrete, timber, tile. All in all it is a residence that lies in total deference to, and in constant dialogue with, the breathtaking natural beauty Sydney seems to drip at every turn. How lucky to have such gorgeous local bushland to work with, and how wonderfully respectful of the architect to make it the focus and the story of his home.
Like some of the very best Modernist domestic design, this architectural primacy of in-situ environment has ensured a timelessness and tranquility we can only marvel at 50 year later.
In addition to this there are, of course, the more aesthetic personal choices, the icing so to speak, which make the heart leap with joy and recognition; that deep peacock study (actually our favourite room in the house), the bold orange utility door, the considered lighting which prioritises human mood over the possibility of laboratory experiments and those external concrete reliefs – due for a massive comeback, no?
For us mere mortals a homebase like this is a dream, an inspiration to hold on to. Without wanting to sully today’s outstanding slice of paradise with our current grim realities, who is going to begrudge anyone the need for a little escapism right now? This beautiful home is the perfect retreat where your mind can go into a sublime lockdown and simply enjoy the birdsong.
Take a look at the listing of 374 Joalah Road, Duffy’s Forest, New South Wales here.