West Hobart House

A large house was required on an internal block in West Hobart, Tasmania. The site, while located close to the city centre, remains completely "uncultivated" and features a large rock face on the northern side, affectionately named "The Cliff" by the owner.

The design was developed in response to this "cliff" quality and a desire to preserve this aspect to the site from the houses across the valley while also providing a platform on which to inhabit this steep site. In establishing a platform to allow occupation of the site, a series of binary oppositions (open/closed, heavy/light, public/private) in the diagram resolved the location of living and sleeping areas within the house. A major earthwork in the form of a warping masonry plinth warps and weaves its way across the site. All children's rooms were located within earthwork and look out from the "castle wall" via series of narrow openings. The large platform above provides the public spaces within the house. All walls on this platform are angled in plan to provide screening from the houses across the valley and to direct the view to the river beyond. The platform is covered by a roof in the form of a cranked plate that protects the living spaces from over viewing and which expands in plan from a tail at the entry to full width over the body of the house.