Futuristic Sydney-Area Home of Late Australian Businessman Lists for A$9 million - Kanebridge News
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Futuristic Sydney-Area Home of Late Australian Businessman Lists for A$9 million

The concrete-and-steel house, last owned by Peter Woodland of Barbeques Galore, has Pacific Ocean views and a helicopter hanger

By Kirsten Craze
Wed, Feb 28, 2024 9:01amGrey Clock 3 min

The home of an Australian businessman who died tragically in a helicopter crash in 2022 is on the market with a A$9 million (US$5.9 million) price guide.

Peter Woodland, the late director of Barbeques Galore who purchased the expansive family estate just north of Sydney in 2017, was killed in April 2022, when his helicopter crashed in the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales. He was 75.

Woodland, who was a keen pilot and even installed a helicopter hanger and helipad at the residence, bought the home from acclaimed landscape photographer Richard Green, who built the unique property in Terrey Hills in the 1990s. He also died in a helicopter crash in 2015 .

The vast five-bedroom house is located in a lush native bushland setting off Mona Vale Road.

Sydney Country Living

“Sitting right on the cliff’s edge, it looks right out over the bush to the water, and its proximity to the beach and even the city means it’s pretty special,” said listing agent Shayne Hutton of Sydney Country Living, which listed the home earlier this month.

Walls of fireproof glass and dozens of skylights with electronically operated Vergolas mean the natural landscape acts as a dramatic backdrop to every room. The neighbouring national park and 5 acres of landscaped gardens are met with panoramic views stretching to the Pacific Ocean.

“It’s really country living in the city. That’s the only way to describe it. This place is perfect for anyone who is just sick of crowds and wants to get away, even if it’s as a secondary property they’ll use as a weekender,” he added.

The concrete-and-steel trophy home has a Travertine-tiled entrance foyer with 20ft ceilings which leads through to two separate wings; one for living and another for sleeping. With a choice of everyday spaces, each living zone has sweeping district views and doors to the wraparound veranda.

In addition to casual living and dining rooms, there are formal entertaining areas, a library, a home office or extra family room, a professional photographer’s darkroom plus a large artist’s studio that could also be used as a poolside cabana with wet bar.

Sydney Country Living

The granite kitchen has Gaggenau appliances, a grand island bench, a walk-in pantry, and an adjoining central courtyard with water features, perfect for a chef’s herb and vegetable garden.

While two bedrooms sit on the ground floor, four more occupy the upstairs accommodation level including a palatial primary suite. This parents’ retreat has a balcony, a vast dressing room plus walk-in wardrobe and a deluxe ensuite with freestanding bathtub, a double shower and twin vanities. One other bedroom features an ensuite and two more share a full family bathroom and powder room.

Outside, there are multiple entertaining terraces and courtyards, but the icing on the cake is the solar-heated pool and sun deck. Then the property’s standout feature is its state-of-the-art helipad with a fully incorporated turntable and a full-size helicopter hangar. Above the helipad, there is also a treetop viewing platform.

“A lot of people who might live on a farm have helicopters or just want the convenience to get in from the airport. It’s a great feature of the home and could be used for a variety of uses. For buyers without a helicopter, it could be an ideal car showroom,” Hutton said.

Additional features of the Terrey Hills residence include remote-controlled lock-up garages for up to five cars, storerooms, a wine cellar, ducted air conditioning, a security alarm and video intercom.

The Sydney sanctuary is surrounded by walking and biking trails, is a short drive to the transport and shopping hub of Chatswood and is an approximate 15-minute drive to local beaches.


What a quarter-million dollars gets you in the western capital.

Alexandre de Betak and his wife are focusing on their most personal project yet.

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I.M. Pei was the confident visionary behind such transformative structures as the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong and the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, but he was also humble, and for years resisted a retrospective of his work.

Pei, a Chinese-American architect who died in 2019 at 102 , would always protest any suggestion of a major exhibition, saying, “why me,” noting, too, that he was still actively at work, recalls his youngest son, Li Chung “Sandi” Pei. A decade ago, when Pei was in his mid-to-late 90s, he relented, finally telling Aric Chen, a curator at the M+ museum in Hong Kong, “all right, if you want to do it, go ahead,” Sandi says.

A sweeping retrospective, “I.M. Pei: Life Is Architecture,” will open June 29 at M+ in the city’s West Kowloon Cultural District. The exhibition of more than 300 objects, including drawings, architectural models, photographs, films, and other archival documents, will feature Pei’s influential structures, but in dialogue with his “social, cultural, and biographical trajectories, showing architecture and life to be inseparable,” the museum said in a news release.

As a Chinese citizen who moved to the U.S. in 1935 to learn architecture, Pei—whose full first name was Ieoh Ming—brought a unique cultural perspective to his work.

“His life is what’s really interesting and separates him from many other architects,” Sandi says. “He brought with him so many sensibilities, cultural connections to China, and yet he was a man of America, the West.”

Facade of the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong in a photograph commissioned by M+ in 2021.
© South Ho Siu Nam

Pei’s architectural work was significant particularly because of its emphasis on cultural institutions—from the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., to the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar—“buildings that have a major impact in their communities,” Sandi says. But he also did several urban redevelopment projects, including Kips Bay Towers in Manhattan and Society Hill in Philadelphia.

“These are all places for people,” Sandi says. “He believed in the importance of architecture as a way to bring and celebrate life. Whether it was a housing development or museum or a tall building or whatever—he really felt a responsibility to try to bring something to wherever he was working that would uplift people.”

A critical juncture in Pei’s career was 1948, when he was recruited from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (where he received a master’s degree in architecture) by New York real estate developer William Zeckendorf.

With Zeckendorf, Pei traveled across the country, meeting politicians and other “movers and shakers” from Denver and Los Angeles, to Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Boston, and New York. “He became very adept at working in that environment, where you had to know how to persuade people,” Sandi says.

During the seven-year period Pei worked with Zeckendorf, the developer fostered the growth of his architecture practice, supporting an office that included urban, industrial, graphic, and interior designers, in addition to architects and other specialists, Sandi says.

When Pei started his own practice in 1955, “he had this wealth of a firm that could do anything almost anywhere,” Sandi says. “It was an incredible springboard for what became his own practice, which had no parallel in the profession.”

According to Sandi, Chinese culture, traditions, and art were inherent to his father’s life as he grew up, and “he brought that sensibility when he came into America and it always influenced his work.” This largely showed up in the way he thought of architecture as a “play of solids and voids,” or buildings and landscape.

“He always felt that they worked together in tandem—you can’t separate one from the other—and both of them are influenced by the play of light,” Sandi says.

View of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, on the mesa, in a photograph commissioned by M+ in 2021.
© Naho Kubota

Pei also often said that “architecture follows art,” and was particularly influenced by cubism, an artistic movement exploring time and space that was practiced in the early 20th century by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and the sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, among others. This influence is apparent in the laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, N.Y. “Those two buildings, if you look at them, have a play of solid and void, which are very cubistic,” Sandi says.

Yet Sandi argues that his father didn’t have a specific architectural style. Geometry may have been a consistent feature to his work, but his projects always were designed in response to their intended site. The resulting structure emerged as almost inevitable, he says. “It just was the right solution.”

Pei also intended his buildings “not only to be themselves a magnet for life,” but also to influence the area where they existed. “He never felt that a building stood alone,” Sandi says. “Urban design, urban planning, was a very important part of his approach to architecture, always.”

After he closed his own firm to supposedly “retire” in the early 1990s, Pei worked alongside Sandi and his older brother, Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, who died late last year, at PEI Architects, formerly Pei Partnership Architects. Pei would work on his own projects, with their assistance, and would guide his sons, too. The firm had substantial involvement in the Museum of Islamic Art, among other initiatives, for instance, Sandi says.

Working with his father was fun, he says. In starting a project, Pei was often deliberately vague about his intentions. The structure would coalesce “through a process of dialogue and sketches and sometimes just having lunch over a bottle of wine,” Sandi says. “He was able to draw from each of us who was working on the project our best efforts to help to guide [it] to some kind of form.”

The M+ retrospective, which will run through Jan. 5, is divided into six areas of focus, from Pei’s upbringing and education through to his work in real estate and urban redevelopment, art and civic projects, to how he reinterpreted history through design.

Sandi, who will participate in a free public discussion moderated by exhibition co-curator Shirley Surya on the day it opens, is interested “in the opportunity to look at my father anew and to see his work in a different light now that it’s over, his last buildings are complete. You can take a full assessment of his career.”

And, he says, “I’m excited for other people to become familiar with his life.”