A vision of southern comfort
THE Lookout House is a “permanent getaway” at Port Arthur that was built for a semi- retired couple.
Designed in collaboration by Room 11 architects in Melbourne and Hobart, the project takes the farmhouse typology and transforms it into a hybrid courtyard house.
Architect Nathan Crump said visitors enter through a largely blank timber facade into a covered threshold.
“Upon venturing into the main living space the full panorama unfolds, a spectacular vision of iconic Tasman Island and the Southern Ocean,” he said.
Upon venturing into the main living space the full panorama unfolds, a spectacular vision of iconic Tasman Island and the Southern Ocean
“The extruded multi- gable form pushes beyond the building envelope to provide covered outdoor living space and enhance the focus on the landform and horizon.
“The three- gable roof forms defi ne particular functions within, in turn each have individual relationships to the courtyard and its specifi c views to the surrounding landscape.”
The relatively compact 170m2 plan was arranged to maximise solar gain to the kitchen, dining and daybed while striking a balance with the views to the east.
A courtyard punctures the building allowing for afternoon sun to penetrate the depth of the plan.
This courtyard creates a sunny and wind- sheltered outdoor space suitable for all seasons.
Southern glazing to the study provides task appropriate day- lighting, while a large skylight to the bathroom reduces the need for artifi cial lighting in an internal room.
Operable glazing is carefully positioned to make use of prevailing cooling breezes.
In summer, large expanses of external and courtyard glazing can be opened to fl ush excess heat.
Mr Crump said socially the house – which was recently nominated in the Tasmanian Architecture Awards – brings together the owners, extended family and friends in open- plan spaces while also allowing a range of small and private areas for reclusion.
“Guests are housed under one gable while the owners are in another,” he said.
Economically, the dramatic ceiling plane and planning around a courtyard invokes a larger space than the modest fl oor area suggests.
Mr Crump said the zones in the home allow it to be shut down according to the number of occupants and heating requirements.
“Solar passive design, thermal mass, highvalue insulation, appropriately placed eaves, thermally broken double- glazed argon- fi ll windows, on- site water harvesting and solar hot water all dramatically reduce household running costs,” he said.
“The Lookout House is a simple gesture that opens opportunity for a simple life among a complex, ever changing landscape.”