by Neometro

Open House Hobart.

Architecture, Design - by Tiffany Jade
  • Hampden Road House by Archier. Image by Adam Gibson

2nd November, 2022

Open House Hobart returns on the weekend of 12th and 13th November for another opportunity to experience some of the southern state’s most architecturally outstanding buildings.


There is something about Tasmania architecture that makes it resonate with the primal edge within us all. The built landscape, shaped to homage the raw elemental beauty of the native where gigantic old forests, extreme fluctuations in temperature, jagged shorelines and a rich history dominate, has emerged over the centuries out of sheer tenacity. Coaxed from nature’s grasp, the urban frontier has emerged today to rival global advances in design while often retaining an intrinsic link to the wild sentiment that is never far from the perimeter of suburbia.

Bozen’s Cottage by Taylor + Hinds Architects is an exemplar of Tasmania architecture, unifying heritage and innovation through the 2019 resurrection of a Georgian cottage c1842.

The new iteration rests gently upon the original fabric of the cottage, honouring it while sensitively evolving it. Originally built by convicts to house generations of blacksmiths, carpenters and pastoralists, much of the materiality has been retained to temper the same environmental conditions while care and intention has allowed for novel responses that open the home up to light and air and allow it to demonstrate its propensity for contemporary relevance with minimal intervention.

Bozen’s Cottage by Taylor + Hinds Architects. Image by Adam Gibson.

Young House by Esmond Dorney propels Tasmania architecture into a mid-century context. Commonly known as ‘Butterfly House’, the powerful arching form and abundant glazing moves the design away from the materiality of Tasmania’s earlier homes, which were quite literally built from the what was offered by the natural landscape, while providing dramatic apertures onto that same landscape.

Over two interventions by Circa Morris-Nunn Chua, one in 1999 to add a pavilion to the rear and another in 2008 to add a bedroom and lap pool, Butterfly House rests at the threshold of historic and contemporary dialogues.

Butterfly House | Young House by Esmond Dorney and Circa Morris-Nunn Chua.

Esmond Dorney’s Fort Nelson House is another fascinating piece in the Open House program and continues a design ethos that articulates the advances in residential design in its outlook onto the comparably unchanging landscape beyond.

Dorney House at Fort Nelson. Image by Remi Chauvin.

Rounding out Open Journal’s selects from the 2022 OHH program which provides an opportunity to experience a sweeping architectural timeline is Hampden Road House by Archier. Behind its heritage facade is an unapologetically contemporary home which intertwines both era’s in a way that finds modernity. The design language is anchored by materials that are overtly Tasmanian applied in precise compositions and innovative ways. The traditional layout at the front of the home unfolds to reveal an open plan arrangement which conceded to modern living patterns and expressively activates the outdoors. It is a home that yields to the future through respect for the past. 

Hampden Road House by Archier. Image by Adam Gibson.

Architecture + Design | As credited above

Photography | As credited above

Words | Tiffany Jade


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