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A Tasmanian Glass House Designed To Inspire

Architecture

There are no curtains or blinds in this project, just uninterrupted views of the Tasman Peninsula landscape, through wall-to-ceiling glass.

The aptly named ‘Glass House’ is actually a secondary structure accompanying a soon-to-be completed main house nearby. When the neighbouring parcel of land came onto the market during the design phase, the client saw the opportunity to create an additional retreat ideal for writing a novel.

The completed structure by Room 11 Architects minimises what is built, allowing the owner to feel fully immersed in this very special place.

9th August, 2021

There are no curtains or blinds in this project, just interrupted views through wall-to-ceiling glass of the Tasman Peninsula landscape. Photo – Adam Gibson

The project is the client’s own private retreat accompanying their main house located less than 200 metres away. Photo – Adam Gibson

The vision for the building was simple: to place the client between two planes, and open up to an experience of the Tasman Peninsula site. Photo – Adam Gibson

The design references great architectural glass houses throughout history such as Philip Johnson’s 1949 Glass House. Photo – Adam Gibson

The only ‘room’ within the house is the bathroom, which is concealed within a central timber pod. Photo – Adam Gibson

In collaboration with the project engineer, the steel structure was kept deliberately lean, leaving the building as two horizontal ‘floating’ planes. Photo – Adam Gibson

‘The idea was for the structure to recede, and to let the landscape be the experience of the house,’ says architect Thomas Bailey, the director of Room 11 Architects. Photo – Adam Gibson

THOSE views! Photo – Adam Gibson

The dream retreat! Photo – Adam Gibson

It basically glows at night. Photo – Adam Gibson

Amelia Barnes
Monday 9th August 2021

‘The idea was for the structure to recede, and to let the landscape be the experience of the house.’ – Thomas Bailey

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.’ 

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net