Christine Vadasz Architect

Christine Vadasz was born in Budapest, Hungary and graduated in architecture from the University of Adelaide in 1971. She commenced private practice in 1974 when she located to the coastal town of Byron Bay on the far north coast of the state of New South Wales, Australia.

A keen surfer and holding a life long fascination with coastal environments and particularly with shoreline marine life, at the time seemed to her as if Byron Bay was the place where a true merging of architecture and ecology could occur. Her ideas on environmental design have developed through her work and practice during the past three decades, concentrating mainly on low-rise residential and low key environmental sustainable tourist projects. Her best known example of this type of developmemt is the Bedarra Bay Resort on Bedarra Island off the North Queensland coast completed in 1987 and which earned the practice significant recognition including a number of architectural awards. During the past two decades, Ms. Vadasz has been guest lecturer on environmental design at the major Australian architectural schools and at various Institute conferences.

Living close to nature has allowed me to observe and gain inspiration from the way nature resolves its problems.

When we place an object on land, whether a building or a simple stone on soil or sand, we disturb the existing natural patterns and create new tensions where balance existed before. My primary and initial aim in the design process is to gain an understanding of how these changes manifest themselves in the built environment and how building placement on the land can be achieved with minimum disturbance to natural systems.

Buildings should merge with the landscape, flowing down and across the land like water. They should respond to the landscape and the local climate. Designing for the tropics and subtropics has taught me the value of responding to and working with the local weather patterns. I favour buildings with wide verandahs, covered outdoor living areas, large roof overhangs and increased natural ventilation, all combining to encourage an easy, outdoor lifestyle.

My buildings are organic creations responding to the form and contours of the land. Some spiral like a wisp of smoke into the air, whilst others tuck into the ground and hide beneath the tree canopy. I like to believe that people can move through these buildings as though they are themselves walking through the landscape.

2001 NSW RAIA Marion Mahoney Award

1999 NSW RAIA Energy Award – Richardson residence, near Captain’s Flat

1995 NSW RAIA Timber Award – Chant residence, Wategos Beach

1988 Qld. RAIA Non residential Award- Bedarra Island Resort, Queensland

1988 Qld. RAIA Merit Award- Hoffmann Residence, Goondiwindi

1987 NSW RAIA Timber Award – Bedarra Island Resort, Queensland

1984 NSW RAIA President’s Award

Andresen, Brit. “Bedarra Island resorts”, in Architecture Australia, August 1989, pp. 45 – 47.

Brennan, Betsy . “Caring Approach” Vogue Living, Dec 1984 – Jan 1985, pp 20 – 22.

Bull, Catherin J. Bedarra Island resorts case study in Sustainable Tourism in Remote Australia: Strategies for Physical Planning and Infrastructure Doctoral Thesis, Harvard University, May 10, 1991.

Drew, Phillip “A house that lives with nature”, Business Review Weekly, June 15 1990, pp. 116 – 117.

Hoffmann Residence, Goondiwindi: Review: Architecture Australia, May 1989, pp 47 -50.

Lewis, Berwyn. “Listening to the land” , ITA, September 1991, pp 68 – 72.

Lorenz, Clare. Women in Architecture , Trefoil Publications, London 1990.

McGregor, Craig. “Alternatives” in Griggs, M. & McGregor, C. “Australian Built : A photographic exhibition of recent Australian Architecture”, Catalogue published by the Design Arts Board of the Australia Council, 1985 pp. 72 – 73.

Middleton, Peter. “Raise high the roof -beam carpenter: Vadasz and Addison at Tusculum”, Architecture Bulletin, June 1990, p.10.

Wood, Deborah.”You don’t have to conform to reach the top”,The Australian, Friday June 27 1986, p12.

Vadasz, Christine. “Making waves in Byron Bay”, Architecture Bulletin, April 1984, pp 3 -5.

Vadasz, Christine. in “Architecture in the Wild”, Papers from the RAIA Special Conference, Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, April 1989.


Christine Vadasz

Port Douglas resort house

Wategos Beach Accommodation at Wategos Treehouse 

Nestled in the forest just under the Cape Byron Lighthouse, the Wategos Treehouse studio provides private, secluded & stylish Wategos Beach accommodation, just 5 minutes from Byron Bay. Wategos Treehouse Studio is set in lush tropical gardens and is a 3 minute stroll to the world famous sands of Wategos Beach.

guesthouse wategos