Wattle Grove

Our clients’ brief was a “Contemporary Cabin” to provide escape and retreat from their place of residence in NSW.

The design was influenced by many site elements, some with strong design implications: maintaining existing vegetation while maximizing the views from the main living space, sloping walls that open up the view, and reducing reflection on glazing for the safety of the endangered Swift Parrot.

As they take small steps into retirement, part of their brief was for the main access and living to be all accommodated in the upper level. The upper level provides a large open space with warmth to accommodate the extended family; the lower level provides more intimate spaces with individual connections to views and decks.

In our client’s words

Skookom built a gem for us in the Huon Valley. Their task was to build a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom holiday home on a hill overlooking the Huon River. From the design stage until completion the entire process was flawless. The architect, Peter Liddington, used his architectural skills and imagination to design a gem. The entire Skookom team led by Ian and Elise Simondson are perfectionists. The construction manager, Jib Miller, was always on hand to answer any of our requests and queries. The build was a fixed cost quote and there were no surprises! We are from Sydney and could not enter Tasmania for the final 6 months of the build because of the pandemic. Jib Miller and Ian Simondson would send us regular photos, videos and updates. We arrived in Tasmania the day after Tasmania opened its borders to NSW (16 December 2021) to a wonderful surprise! Skookom for us represents outstanding workmanship, integrity, and decency. We highly recommend them for any future clients.

A design and build collaboration between Skookom and architect Peter Liddington of Liddington Architecture Studio (LAS), the complexity of the build was indeed a challenge which we relished. Skookom, LAS, steel fabricator Amplified Contractors, and structural steel draftsperson Steven Godfrey, worked together resulting in all steel elements being designed and shop drawn in 3D to millimetre precision and manufactured off site. All main steel elements were erected by crane within one day. The speed and accuracy of the steel erection for this complex structure was amazing to all, but also a testament to the successful collaboration between all pre and post construction parties.

140mm timber stud frames were erected within the steel portal frames which enabled R4.0 insulation to all external walls. Under and counter batten construction methodology installed over fully wrapped Proclima products allows the structure to breath whilst maintaining a consistent comfortable climate on both levels with minimal heating/cooling requirements.

The internal fit out had to be exact, especially when you have sloping angled walls meeting multi pitched angled skillions. Lined mostly in Tas Oak T&G timber on the upper level, this required considerable skill and high-level workmanship which also translated to joinery and metalwork which all had the same complexity.

Sustainability we believe comes in many forms; buildings in Europe we consider sustainable due to their longevity. Our aim is that this dwelling will be loved by the family and future generations, extending its life far beyond the average Australian dwelling life expectancy. This, we feel, is one true form of sustainability.

Photographs and Video: Brokenimage Creative
Architect: Liddington Architecture Studio