On The Market

A Celestial House Designed To Capture The Night Sky Hits The Market

Phrases like ‘one-of-a-kind’ are often overused in the world of real estate, but it’s hard to think of a more fitting description for this architectural marvel that’s just been listed for sale in New South Wales’ Blue Mountains.

The late-owner Basil Borun (who was an engineer and astronomer) engaged Peter Stutchbury Architecture to design a house that could take him to the stars, without having to leave his living room – or his wheelchair.

What they came up with is the award-winning home now known as Night Sky, thanks to the magical open-air skylight on a cathedral-style ceiling that looks out to constellations above!

Christina Karras

Welcome to Night Sky, designed by Peter Stutchbury Architecture! Photo – Brett Boardman

The incredible home won The Robin Boyd Award in 2021. Photo – Brett Boardman

Completed in 2020, the 158 sq m abode is nestled into an almost 1000sq m block in the Blue Mountains. Photo – Brett Boardman

Sliding doors and glass panels allow the home to embrace its connection with the outdoors. Photo – Brett Boardman

But the key architectural feature is the parabolic vaulted ceiling, a self-supporting structure made of recycled bricks, and the 3.5m by 2.5m unglazed skylight that retracts to gaze at the night sky! Photo – Brett Boardman

A steel panel open the oculus to the elements by the flick of a switch! Photo – Brett Boardman

It allowed the wheelchair bound owner to enjoy views of the stars above until he sadly passed away last year. Photo – Brett Boardman

The build features recycled bricks salvaged from a demolished apartment building in western Sydney. Photo – Brett Boardman

And the arched ceiling soars 7.5m high! Photo – Brett Boardman

A look into the pared-back dining area. Photo – Brett Boardman

Photo – Brett Boardman

The single-level home was designed to be fully wheelchair accessible. Photo – Brett Boardman

One of the two cosy bedrooms. Photo – Brett Boardman

Photo – Brett Boardman

The study can also serve as a third bedroom, with views out into the native gardens. Photo – Brett Boardman

Arches run across the architecture, inspired by a Romanian bunker! Photo – Brett Boardman

The home is like its own magical observatory! Photo – Brett Boardman

Photo – Brett Boardman

The large, voluminous main living space is flanked either side by living wings. Photo – Brett Boardman

One, the master suite with ensuite and dressing and the other, laundry, second bedroom, bathroom and studio/home office. Photo – Brett Boardman

The spectacular listing is truly one-of-a-kind, and now it awaits a new owner! Photo – Brett Boardman

Christina Karras
1st of April 2023

The idea behind Night Sky came from its late-owner, Basil Borun. As an astronomer, triple-major engineer, and a Type 2 diabetic who relied on his wheelchair, he set out to create a personal and accessible two-bedroom abode, that could ‘take him to the stars’ without leaving his living room.

This was the brief he posed to architect Peter Stutchbury, who embraced the challenges of designing the ambitious dream home at 6 Jubilee Avenue, Blackheath – the highest town in the Blue Mountains region.

Both ancient and contemporary references are reflected in Night Sky’s striking structure. Basil was inspired by a Romanian 19th-century ammunition bunker, built of raw‌ ‌brick‌ ‌with arches, and the soaring 7.5-metre-high ceiling feels like something you’d find in a medieval cathedral.

‘To try to summarise this house is virtually impossible,’ Modern House principal and listing agent Marcus Lloyd-Jones says. ‘Walking into the space for the first time is difficult to describe.’

But the true hero feature is the huge oval oculus (hidden behind a retractable steel panel!) that turns the home into its own magical observatory. The open-air skylight allows for sunlight and air flow across the day, and it’s been carefully positioned in the open-plan living, kitchen and dining room to capture the best views of the constellations by night!

The bedrooms, ensuite, and office all overlook the award-winning native gardens designed by Sophie Zaccone, with walls of glass that offer an intriguing peek into the minimalistic spaces from the outside. A calming material palette of recycled bricks, concrete, timber, and brass fill the interiors with character, while also providing thermal mass to absorb and release heat all-year-round.

The listing reveals that Night Sky has been designed to last for more than a century, as an off-grid house that ‘looks to the future’ with an impressive list of sustainable features. It collects all its own water and produces all its own energy, harnessing passive design principles and a bank of 48 solar panels.

It took almost three years to build the incredible home, which was completed in 2020. Not long afterwards, it won the prestigious Robin Boyd Award. But following Basil’s passing last year, Marcus says the house in now in need of its next custodians who can cherish the ‘wonderful architectural legacy’ he’s left behind.

6 Jubilee Avenue, Blackheath, NSW is listed with Marcus Lloyd-Jones at Modern House for private sale.

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