If you could imagine the dream retreat – somewhere to fully escape from the everyday – it would likely look something like Glass House.
Designed by Room 11 Architects, the project is the client’s own private retreat, accompanying their main house located less than 200 metres away.
The vision for the building was simple: to place the residents directly in the landscape, immersed in those spectacular views across the Tasman Peninsula. Its design references great architectural glass houses throughout history (such as Philip Johnson’s 1949 Glass House), while adopting what Room 11’s director Thomas Bailey describes as a ‘Tasmanian vernacular interpretation of the typology.’
Most crucial to the project’s success was its siting, which Thomas says needed to be perfect. ‘Getting the floor height correct was absolutely critical for the experience…The subtle cantilever from the natural ground needed to express the projection into landscape that the Glass House experience is about,’ he says.
Collaborating with the project engineer, the steel structure was kept deliberately lean, leaving the building as two horizontal ‘floating’ planes. ‘The idea was for the structure to recede, and to let the landscape be the experience of the house,’ says Thomas.
The only ‘room’ within the house is the bathroom, which is concealed within a central timber pod.
The beauty of this house lies in its directness and simplicity, enabling the owner to return to the simple pleasures of consciousness. Thomas says, ‘One of the true delights of the house is waking with the sunlight streaming on to the bed, and greeting the extraordinary landscape as the world awakens.’