Coastal Retreat in Tasmania

This 1,184 square foot cottage in Pirates Bay, Tasmania, blends the forest and the sea. The shotgun layout has two bedrooms, a single bathroom and a central living area with a breathtaking view of the ocean.

“I saw an opportunity to connect the forest with the ocean,” says [architect Stuart] Tanner about the house, which is surrounded by Tasmanian blue-gum trees and wild vegetation. With the help of local engineer Jim Gandy, Tanner used suspension-bridge technology to design the house as a hovering platform, with a minimum footprint, that seems to reach out in a grand gesture toward the sea. An existing driveway became a place to park under the house, while the support wall served to hide plumbing.

Midway through design process, however, Tanner’s clients decided that the two-bedroom retreat would be too small for their growing family, so they sold the site. Happily, the clients that purchased the land were not only excited by the design, they were willing to take it a few steps further, as a high-end real-estate venture. “My original clients envisioned the place to be more like a high-tech shack,” says Tanner, “with industrial materials and a colder, more stark look. The new clients were willing to give the house a different feel. We were able to bring in more rich elements, like blackwood cladding on the exterior.”

Pirates Bay House

Coastal Retreat in Tasmania