Australian architect Glenn Murcutt recently built a family home, called Donaldson House, on the Palm Beach peninsula, a small region in the bush north of Sydney. The forests of that region are notoriously dry through much of the year, and wildfires are unfortunately common. As such, Murcutt designed Donaldson House with fire-proof features that don't detract from its aesthetic beauty.
The majority of the exterior of Donaldson House is covered in black zinc panels, which are flame retardant. All the plywood walls must be covered by metal skins because of similar local regulations. Further, the home is set low and placed directly beside a tall sandstone boulder, giving it a natural added defense against fires that might come through the area.