Photosynthesis House


Photosynthesis house is about vegetation, orientation and the energy that is drawn from the light.

Located on a sandstone ridge near Manly Dam, the project involved the renovation of an existing fibro beach cottage and a two storey rear pavilion behind.

Entry is between the two halves of the house below a skylight shaded by a green roof that is naturally watered via runoff from the old house.

All rooms open to the North light. Extensive use of glass louvres and external venetian blinds means that sun and airflow can always be moderated.

The house attempts to use traditional beach cottage materials and building techniques in thoughtful ways to reference the feeling of the existing suburb, to improve on it, without overwhelming it.


Project Team – Matt Elkan, Caroline Goodwin, Daina Cunningham

Builder – Bangalley Building – Greg Lofhjelm

Engineer – SDA – Charles Blumer

Joinery – Fine Earth Joinery

Photographs – Simon Whitbread

Using Format