Water's Edge overlooks the Sydney Harbour

SAOTA and TKDS’ Water’s Edge is a multilevel villa that integrates its waterfront location across all facets of its design – from its orientation and program to its material palette and landscaping. Overlooking Sydney Harbor and guided by the grandeur of its setting, the residence creates a continuous interface with the water while mirroring the tones and textures of the neighboring sandstone cliffs.


SAOTA and TKDS complete the Water’s Edge villa
images by Tom Ferguson

Complete the villa as an extension of the natural site

Water’s Edge unfolds across an expansive plot of land, its streamlined linearity and chamfered planes echoing the horizon of the ocean beyond. To maintain a subtle presence, partially hidden from the streetfront while embracing scenic views of the harbor, SAOTA and TKDS lowered the villa into the landscape and maintained generous setbacks. Its resulting profile preserves the historic neighborhood’s modest character, while contrasting with the villa’s boldly sculpted stone elevation and cantilevered living areas.

The residents’ approach to the villa is an intimate, gradual unfolding, leading through a lushly landscaped forecourt through a sculptural porte-cochère and into the villa’s double-volume spaces. Inside, carved white sandstone columns support the roof, while full height-glazing fills the space with natural light and panoramic vistas. In the living room, delicately patterned and perforated copper screens filter this light, adding a gentle, foliage-like effect that softens the solidity of the columns and the space’s vast scale. Across the program, fluidity between indoor and outdoors is embraced while maintaining privacy for residents. Living areas are situated on the ground floor to allow easy access to outdoor spaces, while bedrooms are positioned on the upper levels.

Its facade is marked with simple geometries, clad in lava stone and accented with weathered copper, bronze aluminum, and honed Mount White Sandstone — a vernacular material prevalent throughout Australia. The architecture’s evocative character is complemented by Myles Baldwin’s landscaping, planting rare native species, large specimens, and sculptural tropical plants alongside cascading pools.


A leading firm of architects, is driven by the dynamic combination of Stefan Antoni, Philip Olmesdahl, Greg Truen, Phillippe Fouché, Mark Bullivant, Roxanne Kaye, Logen Gordon, Dani Reimers and Dominik George who share a potent vision easily distinguished in their practices. This, paired with both an innovative and dedicated approach to the design, documentation and execution of projects globally, has seen SAOTA become an internationally sought-after brand. SAOTA has a global footprint with projects on six continents. We have a clear understanding of the place of design in the world and how to deliver architectural projects in diverse markets. This success is driven by a design philosophy that connects function and form, and the pursuit of true architectural design to create appropriate solutions. The focus on achieving maximum value has also led to global invitations to design, build and create highly prestigious projects.