Tinderbox House

This house is for a couple who purchased the crown on Tinderbox Hill as a base for their monthly visits to Tasmania.

Tinderbox Hill is aptly named - on numerous occasions it has been witness to bushfire including the notorious 1967 bushfires which routed much of Hobart's outskirts. The hill itself lies at a crossing point of numerous walking tracks and is home to some rare wildlife, including the 40-spotted pardalote and sea eagles. This matrix of issues - bushfire, walking paths, wildlife, infrequent visitation - coalesced to inform the design of a complex timber box.

The form of the box is derived from the path system in and out of the site and to specific places within the site where key vistas are obtained. Thus, the house is not so much a destination but a point of intensity within the monthly journey taken to the site.

Given the house is located adjacent to a public path through the site (the clients have gazetted their land as a wildlife reserve with a path through it) the monthly visits raise security concerns. These are addressed by the timber shutter system which locks down completely when the house is unoccupied. This shutter system in turn addresses issues of birdlife management with the absence of glass limiting the potential for birds to fly into clear glass areas. Finally, the closed form of the house is an excellent fire prevention method in case of bushfire, with fires likely to pass over and charr the house rather than explode the glass and incinerate it.

The interior is a continuation of the external expression with a fully timber-lined volume adjusted via a series of inflections related to views and spatial progression and which are mapped in the external form.