Scotland Island House II

2020 Guringai Country / Scotland Island, NSW

2020 Australian Timber Design Awards – Winner

Scotland Island, one of two inhabited islands in the Sydney area, has a population of about 600 people. It is reached only by boat, and forms part of an offshore community that includes Elvina and Lovett Bays on the edge of the Ku-ring-gai* Chase National Park. It lies within the lands of the Guringai* people, the original inhabitants of the area. Middens, containing remnants of shells and fish gathered and cooked by Guringai*, have been found on the northern and western parts of the Island and there are numerous rock engravings carved by the Guringai* people on the surrounding hills.

Our clients asked us to design a simple house, that is easy to live in and maintain, that would capture the stunning views of Pittwater and the Ku-ring-gai* Chase National Park, as well as the surrounding bush and nearby beach. Our design prioritises the view, and the privacy of neighbouring properties; placing the living rooms on the upper floor and bedrooms on the lower. Ample winter sun reaches deep into the living rooms, and folding roofs afford high and low level windows to promote natural cross ventilation. Dark and muted timber cladding allows the building to visually nestle into the tree covered hillside, moderating the impact of the building within the natural setting of the island and when viewed from Pittwater. A timber path and stair leads from the private jetty to the house.

We were very fortunate to be able to work with master builder Ryan Stidwill for a second time building on the island.

* names not accepted by all Indigenous people



Green Magazine, Issue 77 2020

SCA Project Team

Sam Crawford, Benjamin Chan, Ken Warr, Annie Vu


RW Stidwill Constructions


Arborist – Birds Tree Consultancy
Bushfire – Sydney Bushfire Consultants
Civil, Geotech, Hydraulic Engineer – Martens & Associates
Landscape Architect – Spirit Level Designs
Structural engineer – Cantilever Consultant Engineers


Northern Beaches Council


Brett Boardman