Thredbo price record set to fall with listing of ski chalet Tussock

Thredbo price record set to fall with listing of ski chalet Tussock
Thredbo price record set to fall with listing of ski chalet Tussock

Winter has come and that means heightened interest in snow property on Mount Kosciusko.

The Thredbo price record is set to be broken with its current holder, Tussock, now listed for sale.

Thredbo price record set to fall with listing of ski chalet Tussock

Tussock, the alpine chalet located on one of the highest blocks in Thredbo, was designed to be a soft edge between the village and the national park.

It last traded for $3.5 million in 2005 when sold by Melbourne architect Andrew Norbury and his then wife Jane Parker, one of the founders of Country Road.

Thredbo price record set to fall with listing of ski chalet Tussock

Norbury had designed the home on Crackenback Ridge, with its construction costs put as $1.2 million.

The two-storey, five bedroom residence features remote-controlled 15 zone underfloor heating, plus floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on snow gums and passing skiers.

Thredbo price record set to fall with listing of ski chalet Tussock

Crackenback Ridge changed mountaintop living with its ski-in, ski-out location, Tussock's listing agent, Michelle Stynes at Forbes Stynes Real Estate recalls.

The ground floor of the home is essentially subterranean with only one of the four elevations revealing itself to the viewer.

Thredbo price record set to fall with listing of ski chalet Tussock

Six hundred cubic metres of earth were carved out to slot the home into the hill.  

The upper level is a pavilion structure that sits in a field of Tussock's native grasses and flowers.

The pavilion structure is substantially glazed, creating living areas with a sense of lightness and allowing filtered views of the surrounding alpine environment.

Thredbo price record set to fall with listing of ski chalet Tussock

The entry is lit via flashing at the upper level, producing a diffused light that filters through an open staircase and into the subterranean entry foyer. This creates an unexpectedly light and warm entry which then leads up into the pavilion spaces.

Reducing conventional height and visible bulk, the main sleeping quarters were buried into the site with a lightweight living pavilion stepped back into the slope above it.

A wide V-shaped wall of local granite forms the camouflaged outer edge to the subterranean portion. 

"The idea was the bulk of the bedrooms would be warm and cozy downstairs, in a space where you don't need much light, and the spaces above, which you inhabit by day, would be all glass," Norbury of METIER3 noted after its construction.

"The knock-on effect is that the living spaces have a great view out across the ski runs.

"This house is actually very inconspicuous given how big it is [450 square metres]."

By pushing one level underground, the architect halved the permitted site coverage, allowing more space between buildings.

The initiative also broke with the comparatively uniform typology of houses in the village, a conscious goal of the architect.

"You just see a single pavilion," said Norbury. 

Before this design, Norbury had another residence on Crackenback Ridge a little further down the hill which won a commendation in the premier national architecture prize for housing, the Robin Boyd Award, in 1997. 

They sold the home when it became "built out" by other lodges.

Since established in the late 1950s, Thredbo has become Australia’s premier ski destination, and home to some special chalets.

It was 1958 when Garry Richardson, son of Merv who'd created the first Victa mower, asked friend and architect Peter Muller to design his ski lodge in Thredbo.

There's Seidler Lodge, with massive angled beams, designed by the Austrian expatriate Harry Seidler which won NSW's top housing prize, the Wilkinson award, in 1965.

Sastrugi Lodge, designed by Otto Ernegg in 1958, was renovated with a Dawson Brown Architecture-redesign three decades later and won the RAIA Canberra Medallion in 2000.

Over recent years the most significant sale was De Dacha lodge, set in the village, which fetched $2.25 million.

Overlooking the duck ponds, the four-bedroom European alpine-style lodge ranks among the loveliest of the village’s private abodes.

Former society model Fiona Campbell sold the chalet, which has been an $8000-a-week peak season rental, to the ski-loving Punch family through local agent Doug Edwards at Mountain High Real Estate.

Lendlease resort manager Albert Van der Lee had built it for a mere $28,000 and lived there from 1962 to 1984.

It traded in 1994 for a record $810,000 when Campbell and her then husband, publisher Matt Handbury, bought it from village developers Lendlease. 

Around $240,000 will get you a studio apartment in Central Thredbo. 

Being in Kosciuszco National Park, buyers secure a Torrens Title Leasehold, with leases running until 2057/58.

Owners buy the right to occupy a certain number of beds within a building.

Even out of season, Thredbo is buzzing with crowds clad in sports-luxe, trekking and pedalling up summits.

In summer "it's like having a farmhouse", Norbury said of Tussock. 

This article first appeared in The Weekend Australian. 

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Thredbo Chalet

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