Lobster Bay House is one of Ian McKay’s best residential designs. Picture: Michael Wee

Site Overview

site name:
Lobster Bay House
Ian McKay
date of commission:
date of completion:
Pretty Beach, NSW


Professor Philip Goad: Rarely seen and little known, even within the architectural profession, this house designed for the photographer David Moore is one of Ian McKay’s best residential designs.

It incorporates a series of geometrically derived shed-like forms that nestle comfortably into a startling rocky landscape by the sea.

One of Australia’s unsung modernists of the humanist kind, Sydney architect Ian McKay’s early work was strongly influenced by the organic principles of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture.

By the late 1960s, he had extensive experience designing housing and housing estates for the National Capital Development Commission in Canberra.

With this experience, he became vocal in advocating for better quality in residential design across all scales, publishing the seminal survey, Living and Partly Living: Housing in Australia in the same year that Lobster Bay House was under construction.

(source: Australia Modernism’s Top 10: Part One)