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A Home Among The Gumtrees, Where Nature Is Everything

Architecture

When it comes to architectural beach and country properties, often the home itself appears as a real ‘statement’ within its environment. For the house at Killora Bay by Lara Maeseele in association with Tanner Architects, the opposite is true.

For this home, the magnificent beauty of the surrounding Tasmanian White Gums and Grass Trees are the main event, and the house built within their dense canopy simply facilitates a symbiotic relationship with the landscape.

2nd July, 2021

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Photo – Adam Gibson.

Sally Tabart
Friday 2nd July 2021

‘We really wanted the landscape to speak, not the architecture.’ – Lara Maeseele. 

Designed by Lara Maeseele in association with Tanner Architects, this picturesque home is positioned on a slope above Killora Bay in the North of Bruny Island, overlooking the D’Entrecasteaux Channel.

Before they built it, Lara and her family spent years camping in a makeshift shed made of recycled fence palings to get to know the site. ‘We used this time to become familiar with the site characteristics – the trees and shading, sunlight and views’, Lara says. In fact, the overall vision for the finished home links back to the experience of camping with friends – a place that could facilitate multiple families at once, and provide shelter while exploring the great outdoors.

When they bought the block of land there was an existing 18-metre diameter circular clearing, which determined the building envelope of the project. The site is a sanctuary for one of Australia’s rarest birds, the Forty Spotted Pardalote, and is protected by an environmental living classification. ‘We really wanted the landscape to speak, not the architecture’, says Lara. As such, a modest residence of 131m2 was conceived. A generous foyer splits the home into two zones, with the open plan living space, kitchen, main bedroom and bathroom on one side, and the kids room, playroom and bathroom on the other. ‘Nothing is pure aesthetics’ says Lara. ‘…every inch has been thought through, every building element has been made to work hard, often having multiple functions.’

The exterior has been clad in locally sourced Silver-Top Ash, which is a bushfire resistant material.

For Lara and her family, the finished home fulfills a dream of allowing the ever changing rhythms of the natural environment inform daily life ‘…you watch the animals play, you wake up with the sun and follow the shadow play of the tree canopies on the walls. You fall asleep watching the stars above you. This landscape, the trees around us, the birds, it’s so precious – to be able to enjoy it like we do is a real privilege’.

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