Utility Meets Luxury In These Tiny Tasmanian Shacks

What is the collective noun for shacks? For this Denison Rivulet project by Taylor + Hinds architects, the three cabins might be described as a ‘shelter.’ (Or, perhaps, a ‘glow’, looking at that bathroom!). 

Inspired by the practical minimalism of Tasmanian shack heritage, this project on the East Coast of Tasmania is about ‘more than capturing a view.’

Miriam McGarry

One of the three cabins as part of the Denison Rivulet project by Taylor + Hinds architects. Photo – Adam Gibson.

A sliced window gives a hint of the elegant minimalism inside. Photo – Adam Gibson.

The shed-like exterior conceals the refined interior. Photo – Adam Gibson.

A seat with a view. Photo – Adam Gibson.

The rich timber echoes the tones of Tasmanian golden hour light. Photo – Adam Gibson.

Everything you need for a fire, ready and waiting. Photo – Adam Gibson.

A splash of bling in on the three kitchens. Photo – Adam Gibson.

Functionality meets luxury. Photo – Adam Gibson.

The interior experiences are designed to emphasises the feeling of being ‘in’ the landscape. Photo – Adam Gibson.

The three cabins are all different, but follow the same ethos of providing a shelter in the Tasmanian landscape. Photo – Adam Gibson.

A cosy glow inside one of the surprisingly spacious cabins. Photo – Adam Gibson.

Golden curtain details. Photo – Adam Gibson.

One of the bedrooms, overlooking Denison’s Rivulet. Photo – Adam Gibson.

Not your usual shack bathroom. Photo – Adam Gibson.

A bathroom with a serious golden glow. Photo – Adam Gibson.

As you walk in the door, the architecture gives subtle cues for how to inhabit the space. Leave your shoes at the door! Photo – Adam Gibson.

Two of the three cabins. Photo – Adam Gibson.

Miriam McGarry
5th of September 2019

The Denison Rivulet project is a series of cabins, located at a bend in the river just north of Bicheno on the East Coast of Tasmania. The three structures are a testing ground for a future large-scale accommodation development, and have provided the architects Taylor + Hinds with an opportunity to trial materials in the landscape. 

Mat Hinds describes how the cabins are informed by the pragmatic history of Tasmanian shacks. In designing the Denison River project, the architecture delivers everything needed, and nothing more. Mat explains that Tasmanian shacks are traditionally ‘spatially compact, but highly purposeful’ and ‘serve to provide a shelter of bare-necessity in the remoteness of the Tasmanian landscape.’ 

From the outside, an aesthetic of ‘bare-necessity’ may ring true, but inside it is clear that a minimal approach can still allow for luxurious materials and an intimate interior warmth. The glow of the brass bathroom offers an unexpected surprise! 

Unlike many projects that are located in sprawling natural landscapes, Mat explains that these cabins are informed by the idea of ‘room making’, rather than a preoccupation with the view. Instead of gazing outwards and viewing the environment as a backdrop, the architects have designed these spaces to expand the sense of the interior. The cabins enhance the visitor’s experience of being IN the landscape, where the architecture captures the quality of the place and provides a memorable experience in its own right. 

The design is partly inspired by the Night Beacon’ series by Tasmanian painter Philip Wolfhagen, who captures ‘a fleck of vermillion firelight in the broad blue expanse of the Tasmanian dusk’. The cabins capture that cosy intimacy. like hearing the rain on a tin roof, the three buildings offer a space to be in the landscape, nestled within a practical and beautiful shelter. 

The Denison Rivulet cabins are operating as accommodation, and can be booked here.

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