A Focused Anchoring – Tinderbox House by Studio Ilk

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Architecture by Studio Ilk
Photography by Anjie Blair
Interior Design by Studio Ilk
Styling by Kate Moss

Navigating its layered and complex site conditions, Tinderbox House emerges as a refined and contained series of anchored volumes that engage with the landscape. Studio Ilk combines a focus on the natural with one of integrated innovation to ensure optimum comfort all year round.

The Tasmanian coastal conditions are equally as enticing as they are unforgiving, and Tinderbox House sits as a resolved proposition in place, balancing its presence as a refuge and as one that is engineered to work passively. With both considerations of both bushfire and harsh coastal conditions affecting the site, the resulting series of volumes interact with a sense of purpose and as the result of a careful and considered rigour. Home to a local family, the multi-level home is weighted to its site, providing the ultimate sense of protection and shelter, while also generously opening up to the surrounding coastal views as much as possible. At the core of the brief was a desire to maintain a connection and reflection of context, and with Studio Ilk ensuring locally sourced materials feature prominently, the narrative naturally continues.

The goal to achieve a water facing aspect from every room was subsequently achieved, bringing elements from the coastal condition inward.

Built by Lane Group Construction and with landscape design by Inspiring Place, Tinderbox House is intended as an extension of the landscape, instead of an imposition upon it. Working closely to understand the inherited site conditions, including a partial excavation, the proposal worked to minimise the ecosystem as much as possible. While the majority of the site opens to the south and east, the aim was to integrate as much glazing as possible to allow views out as a reminder of the enviable location. Layering this with a passively cooled and warmed home, overhangs and a methodical approach to framing outward connections were key.

Natural and rugged elements are used both in the exterior and interior elements of the home, referencing the nearby cliff face. This is then balanced by the glass insertions that speak to the water and calming stillness amongst the more undulating edges. To abate the orientation and optimise on solar gain, a series of pavilion forms line up along the site, separate by mudstone bookending walls. Within each, the north and western façades are glazed. The goal to achieve a water-facing aspect from every room was subsequently achieved, bringing elements from the coastal condition inward. A restrained palette then sees natural references warm the rooms and counter the cool sea and sky in the distance.

Natural and rugged elements are used both in the exterior and interior elements of the home, referencing the nearby cliff face conditions.

Through an imbedded warmth, Studio Ilk’s Tinderbox House optimises its siting. The resulting building offers its owners clear visual connections toward the coast while providing the ultimate sense of protection amongst the elements.