Real Ideal Sydney


Sydney, Australia





The Point Piper Boathouse, constructed in 2009, is situated on a steeply sloping waterfront site above Seven Shillings beach. The strategy for the new boathouse at the water's edge was to place it as an element carved into the hill within the site rather than repeating the more typical model of a free standing building located within the public space of the beach characteristic of the surrounding boathouses.

No longer a pavilion but part of the landscape setting of the water’s edge, the more discrete presence of the boatshed within the landscape walls of the foreshore has allowed the making of a room on the edge of the harbour of a very unfamiliar scale and proportion – a 4.5m cubic volume containing a bed, a kitchen, a bathroom and a small living space whose threshold is aligned to the existing wharf that links the boathouse to the water. While the typical utilitarian function of a boathouse is to store recreational watercraft for use on the harbour, the seven shillings beach boathouse has been designed more as a miniaturised domestic setting allowing its occupants to experience a tightly scaled proximity to the water.

In the ideal projection of this boathouse we have re-imagined the domestic components of the program to have the mobility of the recreational craft more typical of the boathouse program. True to the programmatic potential of its name, the ideal boathouse becomes a series of floating devices – the domestic programs of eating, sleeping, cooking, bathing and reading miniaturised and projected back into the harbour. Functioning as a compactus for harbour living, the ideal boathouse allows its domestic elements to fragment and create new proximities and interactions with other programs and activities on the harbour itself.


Andrew Burges Architects

32/61 Marlborough St
Surry Hills NSW 2010

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