Design Brief

Great Lake Getaway

Built as a fishing weekender in the Tasmanian Central Highlands, the beautiful but rocky and rugged site presented some particular challenges. With one boundary being the Central Highlands Conservation Area, a World Heritage reserve, there was an incumbent fire hazard which could not be managed. The high Bushfire Attack Level pushed the footprint to either a high rocky outcrop among the treetops, or a part of the site where the fine view of Great Lake was lost. Of course, we chose the difficult option, and built on the rock (something Biblical in that).

With help from an imaginative steel sub floor, the building perches on a platform partly on the side of the rocky outcrop, and partly in mid-air. Of only 60 square metres, yet with the option of two bedrooms having partly fold away walls, the building is spacious and light. Acres of glazing pull in the eastern and northern views and sun, framed by the vegetation in which the building sits.

Off grid and energy self-sufficient, the building ticks other environmental boxes too. Adding to the Valley Workshop plywood grillage construction system, itself an environmental masterpiece, the lining is MDF, and is the prototype for further exploration of this versatile material. The advantage is whilst plaster lining has a high carbon footprint, MDF has little or none. Surely a material for the future.

Somehow, this little building is more than just a fishing shack.