The New House in Kingston occupies the bush block in this Hobart suburb. A slope of twenty-five degrees may have been one reason the site remained vacant for so long, but with panoramic views stretching from Mt. Wellington to Kingston beach, the property was calling out for something quite special. 'Our clients wanted a house that was calm and tranquil, a place to retreat at the end of each day,' says designer Aaron Roberts, who worked closely with founding member of Room 11, Thomas Bailey, along with colleagues Nathan Crump and James Wilson.
Click here to see more images of the house, inside and out.
The Kingston house, clad in plywood and stained dark brown, is built on a concrete slab, supported by steel columns. On the ground floor of the 240 square metre dwelling are two guest bedrooms and a bathroom, while the first floor - which is also the point of entry - contains the living areas, a kitchen, studio, main bedroom, ensuite and dressing room. Two voids run between the two levels, one of which provides space for three ornamental pear trees, while the second, visible only from the main bedroom, features a Japanese maple. 'We wanted to create a seasonal clock, with deciduous trees indicating the seasons,' says Roberts.
Given the pristine site, Room 11 was keen to design a house that receded into the landscape, rather than dominated it. 'Our first ideas came from sitting on this rock shelf. We didn’t want to eliminate any views, from the mountain to the beach,' says Roberts, who designed the living areas with a 180-degree panorama through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The house is essentially a floating platform, with the dramatic living areas elevated 3.5 metres above the ground.
While the exterior recedes into the Tasmanian bush, there are pockets of ‘intensity’ within the house, like the white gloss joinery that illuminates the darkened shell and the bathroom, adjacent to the main bedroom, with its flamboyant baroque patterned tiles. The downstairs bathroom is also bold, with large gloss red tiles adorning the walls. 'It’s about the site. Even when you’re looking in the bathroom mirror, you can see the reflection of the trees,' says Roberts. Nature is never far away.