Actress Cate Blanchett and her playwright husband Andrew Upton are putting their home in Sydney’s Hunters Hill area on the market.
The couple have owned the 5-bedroom, 19th century property for a decade. But with Upton’s tenure as the artistic director of Sydney Theatre Company drawing to an end in December, they’re looking to relocate their family Stateside.
In 2007, the waterfront home – known as Bulwarra – underwent an extensive, $8m renovation. The couple drafted in architects Nadine Alwill and Stephen Lesiuk to collaborate on the project, almost doubling the floor space with the addition of a modern glass-fronted extension.
Green features were also added, including a grey water recycling system, solar panelling and a 20,000 litre water tank.
Inside the house – for sale for AUD$20m – a sculptural steel staircase ascends through the three-storey home, connecting the ground floor living space with the private quarters and a veranda that looks out over the surrounding landscape.
The master bedroom is set within a private wing of the house and has its own sky-lit dressing room – somewhere to store all of those red carpet dresses – and Boffi-appointed ensuite.
An outdoor swimming pool pavilion with self-contained quarters underneath was designed to ‘age quickly and disappear into the rocks, trees and hillside’, says Alwill. The twin buildings are set in 3,642 sq m grounds of landscaped gardens designed by Will Dangar.
The Blanchett-Uptons aren’t the first notable owners of the heritage-listed, Federation building. Constructed in 1877 for a local brick manufacturer, it was bought by the chairman of one of Australia’s biggest heritage companies, Arnott Biscuits, in 1904 for $750.
The actress and her husband paid $10m when they bought it from merchant banker Jim Dominguez and his wife Suzanne in 2005.
On the market via Ken Jacobs, the property is expected to smash the $12.85m ceiling price for the area, which is Australia’s oldest garden suburb.