designed by sydney-based studio, tobias partners, ‘garden house’ is a laidback holiday home that lets its stunning location do all the talking. the single-story dwelling occupies a rural site close to the small village of central tilba in new south wales, australia, positioned between landscaped gardens, native bushland, and the coastline. the simple yet elegant design is shaped by the local climate, the requirement for bushfire resistance, and the desire to frame views of the surrounding landscape.
images by justin alexander
in response to the prevailing climatic conditions, tobias partners articulated the south-facing elevation with a ‘brut’ concrete façade. concrete columns and beams frame picture-perfect views of the coastline along the entirety of the building while offering protection from wild southerly storms. along this edge, a monumental concrete gutter collects rainwater and forms the circulation spine of the interior. in contrast to the heavy stone, the north-facing elevation features a much lighter structure made from prefabricated steel. on this side, large floor-to-ceiling glass panels extend the house out to the garden space, affording the sense of outdoor living.
the combination of concrete and steel was chosen specifically for bushfire resistance, but it also gives garden house its distinctively pared back aesthetic. tobias partners does away with superfluous components or decorative elements in favor of clean lines and carefully designed construction details. in this way, the building itself takes a step back, letting the garden to the north and coastal views to the south become the protagonists of the project.