Lofty heights of former quarry
PERCHED high above Hobart but seemingly an entire world away is an awe- inspiring house that would even make Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud gush.
Knocklofty House has got it all. Style, grandeur, innovation, practicality and sustainability, which is exactly why it has been nominated in the 2013 Tasmanian Architecture Awards.
Constructed by Taswide Building on a bush block backing onto Knocklofty Tce which has been in the owner’s family for 20 years, the site contained two abandoned sandstone quarries.
This unique, and at times diffi cult, site very much dictated the design of the Y- shaped house.
“The most important thing was privacy and being able to feel like you weren’t in the city but rather part of the bush,” architect Karen Davis said.
“The house straddles the two quarries and becomes part of the quarry floor as well as part of the bush behind.”
The setting is as much a part of the house as the concrete and spotted gum structure itself.
Nowhere is this more obvious than with the natural pool beside the kitchen and informal living wing.
“It’s new technology for Australia but they’ve been doing it in Europe for almost 30 years,” Karen said. “The owner did heaps of research into pools.
“He didn’t want a lap pool and we wanted it to be part of the actual landscaping of the house.
“Most people have pools that you put a lid on and forget about for half the year but this is nothing like that. It’s filled with fresh water so it’s more like swimming in a lake or pond.”
Transformed from a “black and slimey” pond, the pool can be seen from almost every room in the house and took six months to complete before the construction of the house could even get underway.
One of the biggest challenges of the project, Karen admits she probably wouldn’t repeat the process.
“Only if somebody begged me,” she laughed.
“But it is very much part of how the house is used and over summer it was fantastic.”
The double height entry to the home sets the grand standard found throughout the rest of the three- bedroom property which was completed in November last year.
Downstairs is the parents’ domain, with a huge kitchen and dining space, informal and formal living areas, master bedroom with ensuite and a gym beside the pool area. Kids rule the top storey, which features two bedrooms with window seats overlooking the surrounding bushland. There’s also a bathroom, study and cosy living area.
A lookout on top of the home, or “the most expensive folly in Hobart” according to Karen, has the appearance of the bow of a ship and looks down upon the River Derwent.
Polished concrete floors, extensive double glazing and solar power means