Glenn Murcutt: Magney House(1984)

Recently I had the good fortune to visit Glenn Murcutt’s Magney House, completed in 1984 on the South Coast of NSW.

© Andrew Metcalf

The house was constructed on former coastal farm land at Bingie Bingie which is relatively wild and undeveloped like much of the South Coast. In the nearly three decades since it was constructed the regrowth of site vegetation is clear to see whilst the house is little changed.

© Andrew Metcalf

© Andrew Metcalf

The Magney house appears to be pivotal in Murcutt’s work, or at least it articulates key themes and ideas that characterise his architecture: the elongated rectangular plan no more than one room deep; the related development of a cross section which carefully makes specific spaces of the sole room and its attendant passageway; the steel frame tectonic expressed with correlated layers of a metal and glass exterior envelope and the emphatically expressed shade and roofing devices that moderate the exterior weather elements to be benefit of the interior.

© Andrew Metcalf

© Andrew Metcalf

This key Murcutt house also includes an “external” room which supports outdoor living out of the wind but in touch with the sun and the view. The effect of this space on the plan is liberating –  it overturns a conventional model of domestic enclosure and posits a much more refined and spatially diverse alternative.

© Andrew Metcalf



4 thoughts on “Glenn Murcutt: Magney House(1984)

  1. Dear Andrew Metcalf,

    my name is Massimiliano Botti, and I teach at the University of Engineering of Brescia, Italy.
    I would like to use the following image:

    as an illustration of my text “The Architectural composition: Notes for an Handbook”in the forthcoming book “Synergies and hybridisation: the Regeneration of the plant Vela – Corte Franca”.
    If you give me permission to use for free your beautiful picture, of course you’ll be clearly credited as the author of the image.

    I await your kind reply
    Best Regards

    • Dear Massiniliano Botti,

      Yes, I agree to allow you to use the picture provided I am given full credit and a digital version of the book.


      Andrew Metcalf

  2. Dear Andrew Metcalf,

    I would like to get in touch with you about the possibility of using one of these images in a forthcoming publication for Black Dog Publishing. Could you send me an email at so that we can discuss?

    Best wishes,

    John Bloomfield

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