Allens Rivulet House / Room11

© Ben Hosking

Architects: Room11
Location: Allens Rivulet, Tasmania,
Principal in Charge: Aaron Roberts
Collaborators: Nathan Crump, Thomas Bailey, James Wilson
Engineering: Aldanmark Consulting Engineers
Site Area: 30 Acres
Project Area: total 346m2, external: 113m2, internal: 233m2, decks: 83m2, voids: 30m2
Project Year: 2006-2009
Photographs: Ben Hosking

The house has a duality of character and experience defined by the way it responds to context and use. On approach its angular and severe form is a toughened abstract container, bracing itself against the robust Tasmanian landscape and weather conditions. Passing through the “hollowed out” portals, the warm and sheltering underbelly is exposed and acts as a protective envelope. These areas of in-between, outside but surrounded by the building’s form, are a result of a considered approach to outdoor living within typical Tasmanian weather condition, ie “4 seasons in one day”. They allow one to sit in the sunshine but avoid the cold winter wind, or alternatively sit outdoors and avoid the harsh high UV summer sun. The spaces shift from fully enclosed to semi enclosed, with roof and without, culminating in a roof deck for maximum exposure and view.

ground floor plan

The client’s wish for the kitchen to be the heart of the home generated the internallayout. A defined grid relating to the various uses set the kitchen at its centre, becoming slightly deformed as rooms were angled towards particular views. Revolving around this heart the house eventually lifts to peer over the first level ring and towards Mt Wellington.

© Ben Hosking

Voids allow the heart to be visible from various spaces within the house. The compact plan is extended via the positioning of voids and linked external areas. Internal and external spaces are blurred at one extreme, and highly contained in others.

grid diagram

Dark metallic cladding was employed for low maintenance and to allow the building to recede into the shadows of the hill-scape when viewed from afar. Entry points and areas for outdoor living were conceptually cleaved out of the metallic box and lined with “warm” timber.

© Ben Hosking

The house employs a suspended concrete slab through the living area for thermal mass, absorbing the heat transferred through glass walls to the north. Natural ventilation operates via airflow through the connecting adjacent tree voids.

Cite: "Allens Rivulet House / Room11" 07 Apr 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • +++

    fantastic work here

  • Architist

    well done.. I love the connection with the exterior.

  • Michael

    Amazing location and beautiful landscape.
    I think the covered deck and the open court look like really great places to sit and enjoy.
    My only reservation is that the ‘play’ that happens in plan doesn’t translate to the section. The result is that the ‘box’ ends up quite high off the ground on one side, on some fairly prosaic, spindly columns.
    Perhaps if the section of the building more closely followed the topography the relationship between the indoor and outdoor rooms would be a lot more interesting.

  • james

    ive seen this house before. its a cracker. really not sure about the kitchen. the colour or materiality or something doesnt sit well with me, but apart from that i think its great.
    These lads are doing some pretty good work.

  • angry tasmanian

    it’s ok. not one of my favs.

  • rik

    i truely think this is a wonderful house to live in. i share james’ doubts about the kitchen, this was also my first thought. the combination of the material/detailing and size of the kitchen doesn’t fit in such a pivot point in the house. also i think the windows on the side of the studio don’t fit with the language of the rest of the house.
    but congratulations to Room11, and mostly to the owners of this house.

  • up_today_arch

    good work… good combination of square sheme and moore flexeble elevations….

  • Nick Downes

    Loving Allens Rivulet House / Room11 (via @archdaily)

  • Bruce

    I like this house a lot; the contrast of the black corrugated siding and clear sealed wood is a very pleasing solution. The orientation to views and daylighting as well as sheltering from the harsh south also appears to be successful.

    A few misses IMO: – the need to step onto the pebbles in the west “void” as one approaches the entry from the drive/west deck (could be solved by placement of a piece of… black slate near that corner); – the connection of the kitchen to the dining area (I want to create an opening to the north even though I assume there is seating at that side of the counter); – the lack of summer shading of the north dining area glazing, and lack of implementation of a green roof.

    It would also have been nice to see: south and east views of the kitchen, the living room (showing the east view), and en suite bath; also a brief comment on mechanical/insulation systems used; where equipment is located would be helpful. (Is it all in the cellar?)

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  • sullka


    My only critic is the kitchen.

    Might had worked better a single bar with backup behind it instead of that almost closed “U” shape that takes too much space.

    That would have give you more space for the dining/living, and the area that’s currently the living room might have been a TV room/library or a secondary living.

    EIther case, nice work.

  • lovebuckets

    a sexy building by a sexy man.

  • http://www.scalearchitecture Matt Chan

    Kick arse house boys.
    Love your work…. maybe catch up at the conference.

  • peter farman

    really simple and clear set of ideas that results in an elegant piece of work will be keeping an eye out for your future work well done from an (ex) Tasmanian.

  • Floatingworld

    Love your work guys…
    Great to see your work reach a global audience through Arch daily!
    Hope to see more of your wonderful projects soon.

  • Nicholas Patten

    I'd Live Here: Allens Rivulet House.

  • WPstudios

    RT @nicholaspatten I'd Live Here: Allens Rivulet House.

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  • aHand

    Kitchen is like a prison :P

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  • Bruce

    That excess has nothing to do with good design and should be kept a secret.