Younger House by Stuart Tanner Architects | Project FeatureDunalley, TAS, Australia
When Tasmanian Architect Stuart Tanner and his clients had compatible design ideas about how a home should interact with its environment, they together formed the beginnings to a grand end result. The Younger House in Dunalley, Tasmania is a striking home paying true testament to that fusion of like-minded thinking.
Surrounded by a dramatic landscape it was important there was minimal distinction between inside and out creating a seamless harmony. When the original Dunalley holiday home was demolished due to bush fire on the site in 2013, it was essential construction methods for the new build met with strict fire requirements. Perched in amongst rugged coastline and bush surround, and exposed to all the elements, building a home made predominantly from concrete was going to work effortlessly with the landscape, as well as tackle the brief precisely.
The Younger house is “solid and protecting, yet connects with the vast landscape and vista”, says Tanner. The home is built from insulated precast concrete, and steel and glass, using semi-modular construction methods, and composing two separate wings for sleeping and living. Raw Tasmanian Oak counterpoints the core structural materials. The modular construction method was ideal considering the remote site, modest budget, speedy time frame requirements, and minimal waste and removal costs.
Large expanses of glass were high on the wish list to truly maximise the unity between home and landscape. “The architecture is set low in response to the scale of surrounding landscape. Ultimately any remote Tasmanian building is engulfed by the supremacy of its context”, states Tanner. The sleeping wing sits into the land at the rear affording it a quiet and protected feel. The living ‘social pavilion’ sits slightly raised at front appearing as if almost hovering. The large 12mm toughened window expanse protecting from the north-westerly is compensated by the building’s high thermal mass, solar gain and internal insulation.
The insulated precast concrete elements of the home are all prefabricated off-site in a smooth steel-bed finish, while internally the concrete insulated floor slab is constructed in-situ. The rough and basic elements of a raised cast iron fire pit create a functional bookend for the long axial deck acting as both a beacon and a symbol of the forces that transformed the site.
The sophisticated shell still retains the essence of the original shack with its open design, overall simplicity and surfaces that work with the salt water and sand elements. Tanner can take total credit for creating a home that gives a great sense of protection and peace, yet is also dramatic and humble within its exposed and rugged environment.