Designed by Jiri Lev of Atelier Jiri Lev, the Tasmanian House combines traditional and innovative approaches to architecture with local Tasmanian elements as a response to some of the area’s most pressing social issues.
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Lev is an architect focused on community values. Based in Tasmania and New South Wales, he highlights building design that is both sustainable and regionally appropriate. His expertise in education, heritage advising and legal proceedings add an important layer to his work with sacred and public architecture.
As such, Atelier Jiri Lev dedicates a significant portion of its work to pro bono and community building projects, often delivered via workshops and student engagement. Many of these projects are related to disaster recovery, homelessness, community building and Australia’s housing crisis.
The Tasmanian House is no exception — the building itself is a response to the country’s housing and environmental crisis to be sure, but with some impressive sustainable elements as well. For one, it uses sustainably sourced native timber and sheep wool insulation, left raw, untreated and free from any paints or chemical treatments. Except for the metal components (and any furniture the owners decide to install inside), the Tasmanian House is designed to decompose and eventually become a certifiable organic garden at the end of its life thanks to the omission of synthetic materials during construction.
With unpainted plywood and a corrugated steel roof to match the building foundation and adjoining water tank, the design is modest without sacrificing convenience. The large bay windows bring ample light into the interior space, while the wood accents give off a minimalist, natural vibe. According to the designer, the private residence represents a contemporary interpretation of the Georgian period style, while maintaining the typical Tasmanian ability to “make the most out of quite little.”
This is the first phase of a larger pavilion house meant to exist as either one or two independent residential units (a studio and a two-bedroom home) each with a private garden. The design helps demonstrate the state’s ability to become entirely self-sufficient when it comes to bulk construction materials. It also serves as a prototype for affordable and debt-free housing in Tasmania. The Phase I prototype home was completed in July 2021 and became open for public viewings in August 2021.
Images courtesy of Atelier Jiri Lev