Architectural icons are often chosen for their out-of-the-box nature.
They are typically, but not always, selected because they are new, unique, cutting edge, and ultimately different. Although it is often more difficult, perfecting a familiar and iconic architectural style and reinvigorating it for a modern lifestyle, industry and consumer can be even more successful in gaining both critical and public acclaim.
That has certainly been the case for ‘The Shearer’s Quarters’, a residential development off the south coast of Tasmania.
Designed by John Wardle Architects, this little homestead, which sits on a floor plate of 130 square metres, has beaten out 243 top-class Australian homes to be named Australian House of the Year at the annual Houses Awards.
While the home, which is located on a working sheep farm on Bruny Island, is a direct and overwhelming contradiction to what is considered modern, cutting edge design, its rustic simplicity is a breath of fresh air.
It shows Australian cultural design at its finest, with architects exposing the beauty in the roughened, recycled interior woods and sharp galvanized iron façade.
However, as with all award winning Australian homes, this particular development offers more than just aesthetic appeal. On a functional level, the house includes ventilation louvres, is double-glazed, and is designed to be naturally thermally controlled year-round.
Solar hot water and an on-site water treatment facility have also been included to reduce environmental impacts and lower energy costs. Further environmental conscientiousness can been through the materials use; almost all of materials used are recycled or sustainable.
The most noteworthy element of the sustainable design features is their integration into the body of the building. Aesthetically, there is no ‘green building’ look; this building looks complete and balanced, incorporating these environmental features into its very form rather than just including them in the post-design stage.
This development is a perfect example of updating an icon. The iconic Australian homestead has been updated and brought into a new era, bringing with it an environmental consciousness and a modern and unique interior design flair that allows it its true success.