Located on an internal site surrounded by neighbours in all directions, Cascade House stands protective and inward focused. Despite being heavily anchored to place, Core Collective has curated a series of views outwards, creating a warm and encasing home, coupled with a light sustainable footprint.
Situated in South Hobart, the monolithic home is the product of overcoming a number of site-particular challenges. In its position, with neighbours surrounding either side, the home’s lack of streetscape frontage removed a directive entry approach. However, this instead endowed its orientation to inspire the home’s entryway, openings and, ultimately, its position on the site itself. Originally the rear yard to an 1800s stone cottage – the site only became its own in the 1970s – remnants of the original structure were found and reused in the new. There were no overlays to address in the design of the form, it was the creation of a sense of privacy and enclosure that inspired the resolve. As the architect’s own home, Core Collective engages in an experimental approach, signalled by refined and carefully resolved details.
Built by Childs Hodson, together with joinery by The Little Shed Project, Cascade House is a modest home that combines elements of robust brutalism with the familiar warmth of residential typology. Optimising its north-facing orientation, glazing brings light inward – this warmth is then captured in the polished concrete flooring’s thermal mass. Glazed openings are set back from the site boundary to avoid the need for shutters or concealment, further emphasising a sense of openness with the surrounds, despite the surrounding six neighbours. As a result, navigating sightlines dictate the openings created and the functionality that occurs internally.
Timber, concrete and blockwork become the main materials, with both linear and curved gestures used throughout the home. Taking advantage of the sloping terrain, the building opens up to views of The Meehan Range and Hobart CBD in the distance to the east, the hills of Liverpool Terrace and Knocklofty to the north, and the face of the mountain kunanyi to the west. The internal feel of the home is one of comfort, while the contrast between the heavy materiality and the glass openings further reinforces a bunker-like impression. Blanketing the structure is a cooling green roof that regulates the internal temperature – the inclusion of native flora species gives back to the ecosystem of the site, despite the imposition of the home now sitting below.