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House at Otago Bay is a bushfire proof home

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A man enjoys coffee while overlooking the bay from outside brick walls
A woman sitting behind the window glass reading books with a bay view and timber cabinet
Back view from a distance of the home's raise in Otago Bay, showing a couple relaxing on their verandah and a dog lying on the lawn.

House at Otago Bay is situated on the Derwent River, Hobart and is a bushfire proof home also built to both frame the beautiful views of the bay and minimise exposure to harsh winter weather. With it’s dramatic sweeping roof, the architects Topology Studio, have accentuated the drama and connection of living on the water’s edge whilst providing privacy and protection.

The entry is deliberately solid, drawing you in to the centre of the house where a long, curved wall follows the contours of the site. In the main living space, the roof sweeps up to reveal views of Mount Wellington to the west and Mount Direction to the east. Looking out over the water, the owners can make their morning coffee while they decide if it’s a good day to take the boat out.

The lower floor is embedded in the steeply sloping ground, providing the bedroom with framed, sheltered views of the water. Window sills are wide enough to sit on and a small external terrace is the ideal spot for the dogs to doze in the afternoon sun.

Inside, refined details and carefully selected materials produce a home that is textured and warm. Locally sourced masonry has been custom-manufactured to complement the tones of the setting, while limed-oak ceilings, warm timber joinery and polished concrete floors soften the light, creating a calm atmosphere from which to appreciate the natural landscape.

Living area with the view of Otago Bay
Homeowner standing in front of the glass window in the living room area

I love the restrained materials palette of this house as it helps it feel connected and embedded in the landscape. What is your favourite part of this house?

The homeowner and her dog walking outside the house in Otago Bay
In the upstairs hallway with Otago Bay in the background, a dog is walking on burnished concrete flooring with a brick walls.

Sustainability specs:
– Bushfire proof home
– Orientated to the north
– Retractable blinds protect the windows on the western facade
– Non-combustable material selection due to required fire rating of the building brick cladding, stone paving
– Burnished concrete flooring downstairs to capture and store heat from the low winter sun
– Thick masonry walls provide thermal mass to help heat the home and protection from solar radiation
– Locally sourced materials
– Large windows to provide ample sunlight

A close-up sideview of a house's exterior showing non-combustible material
Close-up view of kitchen bar with a white and timber design
From the architect:

Inside, refined details and carefully selected materials produce a home that is textured and warm. Locally sourced masonry has been custom-manufactured to complement the tones of the setting, while limed-oak ceilings, warm timber joinery and polished concrete floors soften the light, creating a calm atmosphere from which to appreciate the natural landscape.

Images courtesy of Topology Studio. Photography by Paul Hermes
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