Construction underway for Andrew Burns Architecture’s cliff top wilderness lodges in Tasmania

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Two cliff top lodges servicing Tasmania’s remote Three Capes Track will be ready for the start of 2018’s walking season, with construction well underway.

Located on Tasman Peninsula, the lightweight steel-framed, timber-clad lodges are designed by Andrew Burns Architecture in consultation with Ken Latona, the architect of the award-winning Bay of Fires Lodge and founder of the walking track’s operator, Tasmanian Walking Company.

Three Capes Lodges by Andrew Burns Architecture. Image:  Andrew Burns Architecture

Surrounded by plant and animal life, with views out to sea, the buildings are designed to play a secondary role to the “heroic” landscape.

Lead architect Andrew Burns said the project embodies his practice’s focus on the intersection between architecture and landscape.

“As is the case with all our work, we conceived the structures an integral part of the environment, the opposite of the ‘building as hero,’ an intruder, or an imposition,” he explained. “So our design places the natural landscape at the core, effectively immersing the visitor in the landscape, blurring the lines between inside and out.”

Tasman Peninsula’s sensitive environment – with its rugged terrain and fragile ecosystem – has informed the design and construction of the lodges. Fabrication is taking place off-site, where possible, and sections of the buildings are being airlifted in as modules by helicopters.

The lodges are being constructed predominately from non-reflective Tasmanian materials, and will feature suspended floors to ensure minimal ground disturbance, while trees removed during construction will be incorporated into the joinery design and replaced with new trees planted nearby.

Three Capes Lodges by Andrew Burns Architecture.

Solar panels and wind turbines will power the site, which will also feature Swedish-designed “recycling showers” that filter and recirculate water and use up to 90 percent less water and 80 percent less energy than ordinary showers. Water tanks and battery stores will be hidden in a sub floor beneath the main level of each building, with open lower decks functioning as a helipad for supply drop-offs and removal of all waste.

The split-level buildings comprise separate skillion-roofed structures designed to follow the contour of the landscape, minimizing bulk and height, and walls and windows are designed to slide away. The result, as Andrew Burns says, will be “a new form of beauty in the wilderness, where the buildings dissolve into the landscape, instead of being added to it, and we as visitors are no longer simply spectators, but completely engaged and immersed.”

The lodges, slated for completion in September 2018, will join existing accommodation designed by Jaws Architects along the 46-kilometre hiking track.


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