Each episode takes a look at a stunning Australian home, and we walk around the house with the architect and owner and learn all about the construction and beauty of the building, and see its beautiful surroundings.
Ranging from houses that redefine beach shacks to magnificent country houses and exploring all the way from Sydney’s exclusive suburbs to the Southern coast of Victoria, Great Australian Homes takes us to some of the most impressive homes down under.
Premier Media Group Production for the How To Channel Australia
Episode 1 – Gunya House
Pete Colquhoun explores a house that redefines the Australian beach shack. The Gunyah House at Bundeena sits between a cliff face and the beach and is the design of award winning architect Clinton Murray. Clinton takes us through the concepts and issues that were overcome to create this Great Australian Home. Where it sits, it becomes a true beach house and as the journey continues along boomerang shaped walkways and bridges, the interior feeling of being part of the coastline of caves and overhangs takes shape. But nothing compares to the outdoor living areas overshadowed by a random planting of Kentia Palms.
Episode 2 – Countour HouseM
Architect Pete Colquhoun reveals two sides of a magnificent country home. The Contour House rises out of the ground like a forgotten ruin. A massive wall conceals the magic of what awaits the visitor when they pass through the zinc doors within the giant ribbon of concrete that explodes into 270-degree views of the Bellarine Peninsular in Victoria. Architect Simon Knott takes Pete through his design step-by-step and discusses the challenges that faced the builders and engineers.
Episode 3 – Avenel House
Pete Colquhoun explores a country home with space age looks. In a region of Victoria better known for its rustic character, architect Paul Morgan designed a very modern house to serve an extended family as a weekend retreat. Set amongst horse paddocks and vineyards, the Avenel House is defined by its bold white eyebrow. Anchoring the structure to the sprawling landscape are walls made from local Strathbogie Granite. This stone was sourced from the property, transported to Melbourne for cutting and painstakingly laid to perfection. And while the stone features inside, it’s the views and casual feel of the internal space that completes the holiday house atmosphere.
Episode 4 – Said House
Pete Colquhoun goes inside a magnificent home in one of Sydney’s exclusive suburbs. On a corner site, with commanding views of Sydney Harbour, architect Jon King met the needs of clients with a desire to have an eclectic mix of ski lodge, tropical resort and comfortable family home all rolled into one design. Brave use of bluestone throughout the house gives this home a substantial Mediterranean feel while harking back to work of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Jon King takes us on a tour of the house and explains the reason behind some of the design decisions.
Episode 5 – Cape Schanck
Architect Pete Colquhoun takes us into a house on the Cape Schanck Peninsular on the Southern coast of Victoria. The home was the first project for newly established architect and interior designer Stephen Jolson. The site was a 45 degree sand slope surrounded by coastal scrub and golf fairways. The result was a truly great home with dramatic views to beaches and Bass Straight. Stephen’s interior design flair is on show with one off pieces of furniture and beautiful bamboo flooring sitting effortlessly within the concrete structure. With more than 70 metres of floor to ceiling glass, this house is a magnificent example of this talented architects work.
Episode 6 – Pine Ave
Pete Colquhoun experiences the most impressive home entrance he has ever seen. Imagine walking in the front door of a home to be met with an underwater view of a 20 metre long swimming pool. The Pine Avenue House in Melbourne is all about finish, texture and having fun. Simple in its design, two rectilinear zones containing the living spaces and bedrooms are slipped past each other creating two terrific courtyards. And running just about the entire length is the swimming pool and spa. Pete and designer Debbie-Lyn Ryan from architectural practice McBride Charles Ryan explore the home from top to bottom and the owners recount some of their passionate attention to detail, right down to gluing pebbles onto the fireplace for a perfect finish.
Episode 7 – Kangaroo Valley House
Pete Colquhoun goes to an amazing house in the Australian bush. The styles of house in Australian bush settings can see structures that touch the earth lightly or make an unashamed statement. The Kangaroo Valley house manages to do both as it dominates its place among tall gums and sandstone rock outcrops, but does so in a way that sits calmly on the site. Pete Colquhoun talks to architect Nicholas Turner about the decisions behind this Great Australian Home. The design features two main spaces, one covered and one open to brilliant skies.
Episode 8 – Diamond Bay House.
Pete Colquhoun looks at a house designed for working artists. Just a stone’s throw from Port Phillip Bay and the beaches on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, the Diamond Bay House sits quietly amongst the tea trees. Not many homes place the kitchen inside the front door but in the Diamond Bay house, the kitchen is central to the plan. It separates two very different zones – one a sinuous and lofty living area and the other, a very plain layout designed for the industry of creating art. Just how to entwine art and architecture was the task of architect John Wardle who has achieved a very sculptural and private home.
Episode 9 – Hrdlicka House
Peter Colquhoun steps inside a home with magnificent water views. When one couple discovered a dilapidated house surrounded by a tangled garden in one of Sydney’s best suburbs, they engaged architects Durbach Block to create a new home that took advantage of the site. The resulting house hugs the curving rock face, retains the garden sanctuary and reflects on the dramatic cliff entrance to Sydney Harbour. Inside, there’s a fun mix of retrospective materials and almost impossible ceiling spans opening up to the magnificent views. Pete Colquhoun tours the house with architect Neil Durbach.
Episode 10 – The Bent Robe Project
Pete Colquhoun charts the history of an award winning home. In the 1960s, award winning Australian architect Ken Woolley designed a new style of house for a project home building company. Twenty years later, the owners extended the house with the help of another prominent architect, Maggie Edmond. And now, in the new millennium, another young architect has won an award for the latest extension to this remarkable home. Each architect comments on their part in this great Australian home as Pete Colquhoun goes behind the latest work with architect Paul Porjazoski, as he explains how a walk in robe was the starting point for the latest work
Episode 11 – Government House
Peter Colquhoun looks at the first great home to be built in Australia. Up until 1996, a free place to stay was just one of the perks of being the Governor of NSW. The residence was Government House and the Historic Houses Trust now controls it. At a certain point in Australia’s colonial history, Government House instilled a sense of pride and achievement among the population like no other public building. Pete Colquhoun takes a journey back in time to discover the story of how an eminent architect from Great Britain got the design completely back to front.
Episode 12 – Queens Ave
Peter Colquhoun is in the dress circle of harbour side real estate to look at a house with gun barrel views of Sydney’s icons. Architect Graham Jahn takes Pete through the Queens Avenue house and illuminates how the design came about as a response to a steep cliff-side site. Inside, a staircase climbs alongside a glass wall through several floors that open up to intimate spaces referring to magnificent views. The use of sandstone to tie the house to the landscape is a beautiful feature and is seen in the courtyard and balconies. The crowning glory is the decks on the upper most levels.
Episode 13 – Springwater House
Peter Colquhoun meets the award-winning architect of Australia’s best home. The Robin Boyd Award is the highest accolade for residential housing design in Australia. The Springwater house was a recipient of this award by architect Peter Stutchbury. The house can be opened up completely to create a massive open pavilion and while sensational in its design, it is quite austere. The standout feature is the swimming pool that runs underneath bedroom windows and cantilevers out high into the trees.