The Boat House is a stunning waterfront dwelling designed by Maguire + Devine Architects, nestled along the banks of the picturesque River Derwent in Lindisfarne, Australia.

This cozy haven celebrates the experience of living on the water’s edge, offering sanctuary and protection from the wild weather that blows in from the sea. Combining elements of modern design with traditional charm, this breathtaking property is a true testament to architectural ingenuity and the beauty of nature.

About The Boat House

A Cozy Sanctuary on the River Derwent

Designed for a writer and her husband, the boathouse perches on the banks of the River Derwent in Southern Tasmania. This small ancillary dwelling nestles within the lush garden of their mid-century Myrtle-clad family home, celebrating the experience of living on the water’s edge while offering sanctuary and protection from the wild weather that blows in from the sea.

Sculpted Design Offering Privacy and Prospect

Carefully orchestrating levels of privacy from the northern approach and public walkway to the south, the boathouse provides both prospect and refuge in this edge condition. Conceived as a sculpted object in the landscape, the building’s envelope forms a sequence of crafted experiential moments, molded to the specific contextual and climatic conditions of its location.

Inviting and Warm Timber Clad Elevation

A large facade faces north, catching sunlight over the hilltops and drawing it deep into the plan. The scale and presence of this timber-clad elevation extend a warm welcome, inviting you down into the site.

Gabled Elevation and Central Living Space

Perpendicular to the waterfront, a gabled elevation sits balanced over the public walking track below, recalling the heritage-listed boathouses of Cornelian Bay across the River. Extruded back into the site, the gable forms a dramatic central living space with clean lines of perspective terminating unobstructed at glass, drawing the occupants’ gaze out into the view.

Protective and Confident Cladding

The protective standing seam metal cladding appears dark and visually recessive. The low sides of the gable further reduce the perceived scale, yet the form remains strong and confident in this exposed, prominent location.

Warm Tasmanian Oak Interiors

Inside, Tasmanian Oak lines the floor, ceiling, and walls, contrasting against the dramatic tones of the river and offering warmth and protection. Dark stained timber joinery houses services such as the kitchen, laundry, and bathrooms.

Intimate and Colorful Wet Areas

Within the wet areas, spaces are colorful and intimate, accentuating a sense of interiority and privacy while framing water views through small punch hole apertures.

Sunlit Decks with Seamless Connection

Decks to both the east and west extend like jetties out into the garden, affording water views to the south while basking in northern sunlight. Bi-fold doors seamlessly connect each deck through the living space, creating a podium nestled into the bank. Decks are low to the ground, omitting the need for balustrades, thus enhancing the relationship between the building, garden, and river.

Intimacy and Grandeur in a Compact Space

At 60m2 (645 sq ft), the footprint of the ancillary dwelling adheres to council regulations for size, yet boasts generosity through its dramatic high ceilings and warm, cozy interior. The Boathouse creates a sense of both intimacy and grandeur, celebrating the experience of being right on the water.

Photography by Adam Gibson

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