Long Black House

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Jessica Howard Any­one in­ter­ested in putting their own amaz­ing home up for con­sid­er­a­tion for house of the week can email jessica. howard@news.com.au

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.

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