This unpretentious, modest home purposely built to take in 270- degree views of the Tamar, is just magic, writes Bruce Mounster
WHEN you have million- dollar views, the last thing you need is a grandiose mansion. Tony and Rosemary Whish- Wilson said their home’s most important feature was its magnificent view across Spring Bay and along the Tamar River.
Mr Whish- Wilson said their home hadn’t vanished completely but they and architect Jim Dickenson, helped by some local topography, had performed a pretty good disappearing act.
Unless you are among the Whish- Wilsons’ many local and interstate visitors the only way you will get to see their home, just upstream from the Batman Bridge, is from a boat.
The modest 19- year- old, single- storey, three- bedroom, two- bathroom home commands the box seat of a grand natural amphitheatre.
‘‘ Where else would you get a 270- degree vista of the river and open paddocks? It’s just magic,’’ Mr Whish- Wilson said.
Not only is the house screened on all sides
by the rolling topography, with its sandstone-coloured brick and low- rounded roof it looks like an oncoming wave that has just begun its rise, which helps it melt into its surroundings.
Mr Whish- Wilson said at one point the architect had become agitated. ‘‘ You are not thinking about a gable roof are you? That’s the worst thing you could do,’’ he had asked.
Mr Whish- Wilson said he agreed the sharp horizontal line of a high gable roof would have ruined the home’s look.
The low roof- line might have been perfect for the house’s exterior but the last thing Mrs Whish- Wilson wanted was a low interior ceiling – she’d grown up in houses with high ceilings.
The solution was to angle the ceiling, to allow it to rise to an apex at the building’s centre. It makes the interior appear larger than it is.
Mr Whish- Wilson said the remaining space between the ceiling and the roofing iron was packed solid with insulation.
He’d spent his working life in some of the hottest parts of Western Australia. When he returned to Tasmania to farm the East Tamar property, he was worried about the cold.
The house boasts double- glazed windows, and the architect orientated it so the winter solstice sunrise strikes the main windows at a near- perfect angle.
Mrs Whish- Wilson said they needn’t have worried about the cold. Unless they turn it down, their double- sided fireplace keeps them too hot.
She said she didn’t want anything inside the home that would distract its occupants from the view.
‘‘ We wouldn’t put carpet in here ( the flooring is Indian slate),’’ she said.
‘‘ It is a farmhouse house really, not pretentious.’’
VIEW POINT: Rosemary and Tony Whish- Wilson decided to give their modest house a simple, rustic feel and capitalise on its stunning views down the Tamar.
LOW PROFILE: The Whish- Wilsons worked with architect Jim Dickenson on a design that incorporates an unobtrusive roof- line and sandstone- coloured brick to ensure the house blends into its spectacular surroundings.