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The Boat House / Maguire + Devine Architects

The Boat House / Maguire + Devine Architects

Project: The Boat House
Architects: Maguire + Devine Architects
Lead Architects: Dan Devine
Structural Engineering: Integral Consulting Engineers
Sustainability Consultants: RED Sustainability
Builder: Langford Projects
Location: Lindisfarne, Australia
Area: 60 m2
Year: 2021
Photo credits: Adam Gibson

Designed for a writer and her Husband, the boathouse sits perched on the banks of the River Derwent in Southern Tasmania. It is a small (ancillary) dwelling, dovetailed into the lush garden of their midcentury Myrtle-clad family home. It celebrates the experience of living on the water’s edge, offering sanctuary and protection from the wild weather that blows in from the sea.

The Boat House / Maguire + Devine Architects

In this edge condition, the boat house offers prospects and refuge while carefully orchestrating levels of privacy from the northern approach and public walkway to the south. Clearly visible from all sides the building was conceived as a sculpted object in the landscape; an envelope formed to create a sequence of crafted experiential moments, molded to the specific contextual and climatic conditions of its place.

The Boat House / Maguire + Devine Architects

A large facade presents itself to the north, catching the sun over the hilltops and drawing it deep into the plan. The scale and presence of this timber-clad elevation extend a warm welcome as it invites you down into the site. A gabled elevation sits perpendicular to the waterfront, balanced over the public walking track below. It recalls the heritage-listed boathouses of Cornelian Bay across the River. Extruded back into the site, the gable forms a dramatic central living space with clean lines of perspective terminating unobstructed glass, drawing the occupant’s gaze out into the view.

The Boat House / Maguire + Devine Architects

The protective standing seam metal cladding is dark and visually recessive. The low sides of the gable further reduce the perceived scale, yet the form is not apologetic, rather it is strong and confident in this exposed prominent location. Internally, Tasmanian Oak lines the floor, ceiling, and walls, contrasting against the dramatic tones of the river, offering warmth and protection from what is beyond. Dark-stained timber joinery houses services such as the kitchen, laundry, and bathrooms. Once within the wet areas, spaces are colorful and intimate, accentuating a sense of interiority and privacy while framing water views through small punch-hole apertures.

Kitchen, Maguire + Devine Architects

Decks to both the east and west extend like jetties out into the garden affording water views to the south while being bathed in the northern sun. Bi-fold doors seamlessly connect each deck through the living space to create a podium, a place of outlook nestled into the bank. Decks are low to the ground, omitting the need for balustrades, thus enhancing the relationship between the building, garden, and river. At 60m2 the footprint of the ancillary dwelling was limited in size by council regulations yet boasts generosity through its dramatic high ceilings and warm, cozy interior. The Boat house creates a sense of both intimacy and grandeur, celebrating the experience of being right on the water.

Fireplace, Maguire + Devine Architects

Bedroom, Maguire + Devine Architects

Bathroom, Maguire + Devine Architects

The Boat House / Maguire + Devine Architects

The Boat House / Maguire + Devine Architects

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