Masterplan M

Invited competition proposal for the design of a 5-star eco-tourism development consisting of over 300 dwellings and associated public buildings in Musselroe Bay - Tasmania - 2007

Architecture, landscape and infrastructure elements are usually designed according to contradictory requirements. The question of integrating these disciplines to avoid any sense of opposition or compromise is the main consideration of our proposal. Our objective is to provide strong elements of integration between the notions of development and conservation and to enhance the existing spectacular qualities of the site. The design approach for the accommodation clusters is based on three key design strategies

Masterplan / Pods

The masterplan structure is organised around three categories of scale: clusters, pods and dwellings. Clusters remain the large-scale unit responding to site specificities. Pods are a combination of 4 to 6 dwellings. They are an efficient construction type due to such characteristics as the reduction in perimeter walls, the elimination of side facades and the use of larger scale components. In addition, pods are an excellent environmental unit, making possible considerable reductions in mechanical demand and equipment...Dwellings are the residential unit maintaining a strong sense of individuality, privacy, space and outlook...

Landscape Integration & Camouflage

Buildings that mimic the landscape is the key element informing the design approach. The proposal explores the notion of a built form that visually “disappears” into the landscape. This “dissolving” quality will not be a static effect. Depending on the location, season, weather, light, use... the presence of the pods will shift in a dynamic and delicate way, adding a further layer of richness to the project. A combination of the following techniques [...] will be used to achieve this result:

  • underground structures, retaining walls
  • landscaped roofs
  • vertical gardens, green walls
  • curtain wall techniques (glass, reflective surfaces...)
  • military camouflage methods
  • graphics that mimic vegetation, etc

As part of the design methodology, the above techniques will be investigated to establish optimum solutions. The areas of evaluation will be construction cost analysis, maintenance, environmental performance and life cycle analysis. For the Expression of Interest stage, only one design option has been developed utilising a combination of landscaped roof, retaining walls and reflective glass…

Not Another Suburban Subdivision

A fundamental element in the successful implementation of this type of project is to develop an architectural language that avoids any reference to the conventional suburban subdivision style and character. The project must avoid any reference or resemblance to suburbia at all costs. The proposed accommodation dwellings are far from the typical house set against a well-defined, fenced block of land. These dwellings become part of the landscape, they are not imposed on it. The nostalgic geometries have been abandoned in favour of an organic architectural language akin to Hans Scharoun’s work. Trapezoidal and polygonal spaces blend into one another, generating a surprising built form of the appropriate scale. By mimicking the landscape, the building skin avoids reading as a conventional facade. Traditional walls and roofs are eschewed in favour of more abstract elements. Reflective glass walls are used in place of conventional fenestration allowing for seductive pools of sunshine in winter to penetrate the interior and a strong connection between the interior and the exterior environments... Avoiding references to suburbia:

  • house against landscape v house = landscape
  • houses as recognisable units v “pods” read as part of the landscape
  • fenced block of land v private courtyard & body corporate landscape
  • nostalgic geometries v abstract & diffused geometries
  • pitched roof v garden roof
  • single opening windows v glass walls
  • un-designed roofs v considered helicopter & plane views...

Residential Typology

A residential typology based on the courtyard house has been selected for the project. This is the most private & luxurious habitation model. It creates a psychological and physical micro-climate, giving a sense of protection from the elements whilst still being an integral part of them. On the North side, the typology has been adapted to the site and its potential views. The courtyard is “open” to the landscape and the Tasmanian sky, creating the impression of a huge interior within a compact exterior. The views are controlled and no adjoining units are visible, reinforcing the sense of total privacy. The courtyard provides a generous outdoor space while containing residents from spilling into the adjoining surrounds. A boundary condition is created between the ordered decks and untamed nature. Additional well selected native vegetation can be planted between the dwellings to strengthen the sense of privacy and seclusion whilst not distracting from the views. The South side presents an inscrutable and enigmatic face. Maximum privacy is achieved by the elimination of any opening with the exception of the entry doorway. This single access frames the arrival experience, symbolically marking the start of the holiday. Holiday dwellings need to be flexible and shareable. A two-bedroom layout example has been developed with adaptable living areas as the focal point framed by bedroom modules. These modules follow a luxurious open plan type of bedroom-wardrobe-ensuite. Other room configurations are also possible...

In collaboration with Third Skin (Sustainability Consulting & Design) and Inarc Architects (Interior Design)

← Back to Works

Open Studio Pty Ltd © All rights reserved