Sea Clues: Sandcastle


Built on a Filled with 45 degree sand, this Sydney home is aptly named Sandcastle. Its forms rise steeply, well above the block’s entry level, the house being accessed through an enclosed opening in a heavy stone wall that leads to an open staircase with a rope handrail. Or, on inclement weather, a deep blue colored tunnel leading from the garage provides access to an elevator to the basement or ground floor. These levels open to the view and the sun, but also offer a valuable outdoor terrace facing north, without slope and grassed for play and relaxation. Similarly, a roof garden and swimming pool are formed on the upper floors to provide additional respite from the hillside and soften the view of the built forms. Drawing inspiration from the act of ascending through this site, the interiors of each level offer distinct character as the occupant approaches water and sky views. Externally, masonry walls with sections of brise-soleil also offer a subtle nod to the soft texture and sculpted indentations of sand creations.

Bathrooms throughout the project are highly detailed, with luxurious marble and tile selections that respond to being deep within the body of the site or soaring above the landscape on the top floor. The downstairs bathroom is a deep steel blue, with similarly toned Japanese finger tiles wrapping around the vanity. The downstairs (middle) bathroom is more earthy, with wood paneling matched with a travertine vanity. On the upper floors, white floor tiles create a general impression of lightness.

The home’s color and texture palette evokes a sophisticated sandcastle. Work: Etienne Ormandy.

Image: Prue Ruscoe

The kitchen is at the most central location in the house: the head of the stairs, overlooking the outdoor and indoor living areas and offering views through the dining room and living room to the bay to the southeast . The long wood-clad kitchen bench and stone worktop form a front with plenty behind – a pantry, utility room and powder room are accessible from this area, with several exit points onto the outdoor terrace. Wood is the predominant joinery material, with mirror-backed reed glass forming a contrast to earthy materials and a shimmering backdrop to kitchen activity. In all of these areas of the home, the soft, distinctive texture of handmade brickwork provides a stable base, allowing luxury materials, brightly colored artwork, and unique furnishings to feature.

Products and materials

Bathroom walls
Inax Yohen Border tiles from Artedomus; Porter’s Paints ‘Antique Blue’ (lower ground floor bathroom), Dulux ‘Natural White’ paint finish; Western Red Cedar in Diamond Cladd Profile from Cedar Sales
bathroom floor
Fibonacci Stone Road Trip Tile; Granite and Marble Works Vestri Silver Travertine Tile
Bathroom carpentry
Inax Yohen Border tiles from Artedomus; Vestri Silver travertine worktop and carpentry from Granite and Marble Works; American white oak wood veneer joinery from Briggs Veneers
Bathroom lighting
Joe Columbo for the Oluce Fresnel wall lamp by Euroluce; Suspension Viabizzuno and Neri and Hu Sul Sole Va; Allied Maker Flush Dome 08 wall lamp
Faucets and bathroom fittings
Brodware faucets, shower rosette and hand shower in “brushed nickel” by Candana
Bathroom sanitary ware
Brodware toilet roll holder and towel rack and Vola robe hook, all in “brushed nickel” by Candana
kitchen walls
Dulux ‘Natural White’ paint finish
kitchen floor
Tongue n Groove ‘Chamoisee’ European Oak Flooring
kitchen carpentry
Briggs Veneers American white oak wood veneer joinery; Granite and Marble Works Vestri Silver Travertine Countertop; Viridian Broadline Glass
Kitchen lighting
Store Barn Light pendant specified; Lambert and Fils Waldorf Pendant Lamp Double Light from Living Edge
Kitchen sinks and faucets
Gessi City Stik kitchen mixer tap in ‘Brushed Nickel’ and Schock Euro Round Bowl Alpina by Candana
kitchen appliances
Smeg built-in dishwasher; Wolf built-in oven and induction hob; Quasair under-cabinet hood; Sub-Zero Integrated Freezer and Refrigerator
Kitchen furniture
Cult Cappellini Outlet Hi Pad Stool; Luca Nichetto for the De La Espada Marlon dining table by Spence and Lyda; ClassiCon Eileen Gray Roquebrune Chair by Anibou


Sand castle
Raffaello Rosselli Architect
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
group project

Luigi Rosselli, Raffaello Rosselli, Jeffrey Blewett, Romaine Alwill

Luigi Rosselli
Surry Hill, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Cumberland Building Services


Geoff Nines Fong and Partners


Sydney Carpentry

Landscape architect

Dangar Barin Smith

aboriginal nation
Sandcastle is built on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora nation.
Site details


Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

project details


Completion date




new houses



Houses: kitchens + bathrooms, June 2022


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