Studio Prineas




McMahons Point
Cammeraygal Country

The brief

Transform an existing 1980s house in McMahon’s Point, Sydney, making the most of its sweeping harbour views. Create a light filled, relaxed family home that feels connected over 4 levels.

The result

A reinterpretation of the typical terrace house typology, with living spaces elevated to the top level sharing lofty ceiling heights and enjoying the best views of the harbour. Sunlit and expansive, this generous communal space inspired the projects name- the Greek ‘heliotropian’ meaning turning towards the sun.

A galley kitchen is defined by the sleek and airy qualities of a steel-framed island bench, enhanced by a muted palette of limed oak, white laminate and milky natural stone. Opposite, the home’s existing fireplace and adjacent wall is shrouded in matte black panels, offering a punchy graphic silhouette against the home’s white raked ceilings.

A dedicated parents retreat is below, with a bedroom and walk in robe opening to the light and landscape, and a study, terrazzo-lined ensuite and powder room neatly tucked behind. Another level below offers an independent space for their daughter to enjoy time with friends. A generous rear courtyard is a vehicle for light entry and engagement across the site, providing a place of relief from the harsh afternoon sun. A gym is excavated deep below the courtyard, naturally lit via a skylight running the length of the room.

Embellishment was stripped back the in favour of a more contemporary, refined expression. The use of dark timber cladding, white render, blackened steel and tumbled stone establishes a tone of approachability and elegance, while the once obscured entry is redefined as a darkened threshold that accentuates the airiness of the new home beyond.

The feeling

A masterful adaptation that meets the needs of a modern family, all while unifying every space with light and connection to the harbour.

Sol – soul

Connect Four

Harbourside sanctuary – on holidays at home

Photography Chris Warnes

'Heliotropian House is a masterful adaptation and now meets the needs of a modern family, all while unifying every space with a gentle ambience.'

Aleesha Callaghan - Habitus