Dunalley House

Dunalley | Tasmania

There is a lightness of touch in the careful orientation and pared back minimalism of this house on the Tasman Peninsular, which replaces a shack lost in the devastating 2013 Dunalley bushfires. Its intimate spaces are solid and protecting, yet open through expansive glazing to connect with the landscape and the vista across the bay. Budget, logistics and a high “Bushfire Attack Level” led to modular construction using prefabricated steel and precast concrete components. There are exquisite details where it counts, such as the LED and steel edge to the concrete blade, which defines the approach to the front entry.

Dunalley House on the Tasman Peninsular is a project for a young family recovering from the dramatic loss of their family holiday retreat during the devastating 2013 Dunalley bushfire.

The 10ha property was left scorched and barren. The original holiday home destroyed while the family watched from the foreshore below. The client brief was for a primarily concrete building: solid and protective yet connecting with the expansive outlook across Dunalley Bay. The new building was located proximate to the water.

A moderate budget and tight timeframe encouraged a semi-modular approach to construction of pre-fabricated steel and precast concrete panels. A high “bushfire attack level” rating influenced material choice. Low profile, the building stretches across the site, in response to the expansive milieu.

Planning is elementary: a bunker for sleeping, and a pavilion for living, separated by a long deck that serves as both entry and axis to the bay beyond. The quiet interior allows for contemplation of changing light and weather. The deck extends on the ocean side to a fire dish, as a beacon on the bluff, a place to congregate and perhaps, a symbol of the force that transformed the property.

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