Long Black House
WHEN it comes to houses, there tends to be two main types of admirers – those who champion modern design and those who prefer the character of period houses.
I had an email from a reader a couple of weeks ago who clearly belongs to the latter group.
They described many of the houses featured as “cold, frigid, plain, square, and clearly looks like you are about to pull out the dead body for cutting up”.
Unfortunately for them, but luckily for fans of the former group, this Lower Longley residence has been designed to be part of a school of contemporary Australian linear houses and represents some of the fine work that can be done with a simple and brutal concept but a subtle, multilayered result.
Designed by Thomas Bailey of Room 11, the Long Black House is a slim, black- clad building tucked beneath the apex of a ridge on an expansive rural site, described as “a shed for living”.
The brief was simple: “To make an uncompromising small home for a couple and occasional guests,” Mr Bailey said.
“They enjoy entertaining so the house has features to enhance this – a two- way fireplace, a great kitchen and pantry, colour- controllable lighting, a lounge pit.
“The clients also had particular architectural ideas that resonated well with our practice. As architects, we often say good clients make good projects and that was defi nitely the case with this project.”
The owners already had the block of land on the border of the beautiful Huon Valley and the site was a key driver for the design.
From the interior, the curve line of the opposing ridge is framed by the house.
This view line eventually makes its way towards North West Bay and the surrounding farmland is framed by the entire building from the east.
Comprised of concrete, glass, stone, compressed cement sheet and Tasmanian hardwood, it contains robust materials that last and have haptic qualities that reinforce the architectural gestures of the building.
The house showcases many key sustainable design features.
“Sustainability and energy efficiency is very important to our practice,” Mr Bailey said.
“The narrow plan, elongated to the north and sophisticated glazing and shading solutions are fundamentals of good, passive solar design.
“The fabric has been detailed carefully to reduce heat loss.
“The building is also heated by an hydronic heating system that is powered by a very efficient wood boiler.
“All the timber for the boiler is sourced from site.”
The project has been nominated in the 2013 Tasmanian Architecture Awards in the small project architecture category.
“I think everyone involved in the project is proud of the result,” Mr Bailey said.
“The architecture awards is a celebration of our collective efforts as architects and it’s good to play a part.”
Whichever side of the argument you belong to, there is no denying this home perfectly captures its surroundings and has been built to last.
Vote in the People’s Choice prize in this year’s Tasmanian Architecture Awards to be in the draw to win a Zip boil, chilled and sparkling Hydro Tap unit worth $ 4345.
You can vote online for your favourite project at www.architecture.com.au/tas
The winner will be notifi ed by phone on June 14.