Vernacular architecture has always fascinated me – a building that is perfectly allied to its landscape, is contextual, and serves its end use with maximum function and purpose. This building appears to follow that philosophy and then some..
Shearers Quarters house sits as a companion building to an existing historic cottage on a working sheep farm, on an island off the Tasmanian coast. Not your average brief – it was designed to house shearers, family and friends on annual tree planting weekends and retreats. It comprises an open-plan living/dining/kitchen, bathroom and utility, two bedrooms and a bunkroom. A slender skillion roof at one end transforms to a broad gable at the other, opening up the form to the wonderful views beyond. The geometry of this shift is evident internally in the geometry of the internal walls and window frames.
The simplest palette of materials has been used: corrugated galvanised iron to the exterior, timber internally. Pinus Macrocarpa is the primary timber used, sourced from old rural windbreaks. The bedrooms are lined out in recycled applebox crates, gathered from orchards of a nearby valley where the timber had remained stacked but unused since the late 1960s. This rhythm of small, regular pieces of wood becomes the decoration. Metal is also used folded to form shelves to store logs, and to create a wall of books.
Shearers Quarters House by John Wardle Architects, via
Photographs: Trevor Mein
Another wonderful example of vernacular building, this time in the Danish forest, here