Written with Lori Polaf
There’s increasing outrage over new plans to build a luxury villa that will block the eastern view of the Sydney Opera House. The villa, called the Ø House, is named after the Danish word for island, and will float in Sydney harbour.
“Ø House is designed to rise up from Sydney Cove between the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Opera House. It appears to float like a delicate lily-pad on the Harbour,” says architect and creative director at , Mark Hunter, who designed the floating folly.
While Hunter calls it “a home like no other,” protestors are calling it ‘Dr Evil’s Lair.’ “This monstrous island-mega-mansion obliterates the eastern view of the Opera House, and is an affront to the people of Sydney,” says protestor Rollo Piaf, who is calling for Ø House to become No House.
If the plans are approved, then the new Øwner would be living in one of Australia’s most forward thinking buildings. Plans state it would be made from glass and nautical grade stainless steel, with tidal power generating the electricity supply. NASA-first technologies have been incorporated into the home’s waste management system to help achieve a 5-star rating from the EPA [Environment Protection Agency] along with certified carbon-neutrality.
The villa is configured around a central marine garden, but faces outwards to capture the stunning 360° panorama. Bathed in natural light, every living space, including each of its six bedrooms commands sweeping floor to ceiling views of the city, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Heads or the Royal Botanic Gardens. And of course, Sydney Opera House.
The materials include sculpted concrete to give the home its organic curves and slender profile, and natural timbers and sandstone to enhance the aesthetic. Glass and nautical grade stainless steel have been used throughout to ensure the home is as enduring as it is timeless. An outer courtyard that circles the home connects the inside spaces to the Harbour surrounding them, dramatically enhancing the sense of floating on water. The result is a home bathed in natural light.
“This home is so unique, it demands our attention,” says Hunter. “It’s so sublime, we wonder how it had not been imagined sooner.” When asked if residents would need to wear life jackets he declined to comment.
With demand for Sydney property at an all-time high, there’s no doubt the cost of living in the Ø would be astronomical. It’s believed real estate agents may pitch the property as a COVID safe home, as its location away from other properties will encourage self-isolation.
For those who doubt the plans could come to fruition, protestors put forward a valid point. “They said the Toaster would never be built,” points out anti Ø activist Raf Lipool. “It’s a complete joke from start to finish.”
Did you spot our clues that the Ø House wasn't an ordinary project?
We left a trail of hints for you throughout the story. How many did you spot?
1.Check out the name of the journalist, Lori Polaf, and the protestors who are quoted in the piece, Rollo Piaf and Raf Lipool. Notice anything unusual about them? They’re all anagrams of April Fool.
2.Sydney harbour is protected by environmental and heritage laws, which mean it would be impossible to build within it.
3. Can you imagine having to wear a lifejacket when you’re in your own home?
4. COVID is no joke, but real estate agents bumping up the price of the property because it’s a good spot to self-isolate, is – we hope.
5. If you read to the bottom of the story, you’ll see one of the biggest hints of all. “It’s a complete joke from start to finish.”
Happy April Fool's Day!
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