Paul and Julia a Dannock’s Old Beach ho home
SOMETIMES the best statement a house can make is no statement at all. For this Old Beach residence, the focus of creating a subtle relationship with the setting has created a private haven that quietly asserts its presence on the land.
“The house isn’t just an egotistical self- indulgence,” explained Liminal Spaces architect Elvio Brianese, who designed the home.
“This house is about being horizontal, recessive and black so it disappears into the landscape.”
Completed four years ago, Julia and Paul Dannock’s family home showcases design elements which effortlessly work towards efficiency and maximising the beautiful river views.
Made possible by a creative collaboration between the Dannocks, the Liminal Spaces team and Cordwell Lane builders, the waterfront home is within sight of the couple’s previous house.
“The very first house we built was in Old Beach up on the hill and we loved that house and never thought we’d move,” Julia said.
“This land used to be a big paddock and when we saw them subdividing it we bought the block and held on to it for a couple of years.
“What we wanted for the home was an industrial, modernist look.
“We didn’t want a house; we wanted a home that was a piece of art.”
With the sun streaming in from the north and the views in the south, the roof is angled to allow the sun to penetrate the south side living areas.
Polished concrete slab floors create a thermal mass heat sink and a central masonry wall has several key functions – space for the Dannocks’ extensive art collection, creating a privacy buffer and to retain heat.
The home’s connection to the landscape is enhanced by its openness and flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Glazed sliding doors on either side of the home can be pushed away to create one big open- plan space.
“What’s special about this house is that it has this outdoor room which enables you to manage the wind and rain,
maximise the sun and live outside which is quite rare, particularly in our Tassie winters,” Elvio said.
What started out as a house for just Paul and Julia soon changed with the arrival of their first child just two weeks after moving in and another two years later.
The three- bedroom home gives the children plenty of safe space to run about while also providing secluded space for Julia and Paul.
The home hasn’t been just built, it has been crafted, as seen in the many details of the home – such as the unique bathrooms, which continue the theme of openness and relation to the land.
The opulent baths are hidden away behind slats, which can be removed, and the adjacent door/ window can be left closed for privacy or opened to create a pool- like atmosphere. “Craftsmanship is a lost art,” Elvio said. “There are a lot of houses that get built but not necessarily designed. Here, we’re celebrating craftsmanship and clever design.
“We can do the architecture and we can set up opportunities but what we were relying on was the partnership with Paul and Julia to give the house soul.”
Very content to settle in their responsive and adaptable home, the idea of living in a “normal” house now seems very foreign, Julia says.
“I cannot imagine living in a house surrounded by walls and curtains now,” she said.
“We just love that feeling that we’re outside all the time.”