Se­cluded sanc­tu­ary

This un­pre­ten­tious, mod­est home pur­posely built to take in 270- de­gree views of the Ta­mar, is just magic, writes Bruce Mounster

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE -

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.’’

Pic­tures: ROSS MARS­DEN

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.

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