Room11 – Rock the Shack

The Architecture of Cabins, Cocoons and Hide-Outs

From weekend homes to get-away cabins, this architecture embodies our longing for relaxing in nature.
Rock the Shack takes us to the places we long for. For the first time in the history of humankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again.Rock the Shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world—from basic to luxury. The book features a compelling range of sparingly to intricately furnished cabins, cottages, second homes, tree houses, transformations, shelters, and cocoons. The look of the included structures from the outside is just as important as the view from inside. What these diverse projects have in common is an exceptional spirit that melds the uniqueness of a geographic location with the individual character of the building’s owner and architect.
Editors: S. Ehmann, S. Borges
Release Date: February 2013
Format: 24 x 30 cm
Features: 240 pages, full color, hardcover
Language: English
ISBN: 978-3-89955-466-3

GASP! with Dark MOFO PRESENT – Domenico de Clario: Thurs 20- Fri 21

GASP! & Dark MOFO are delighted to present an all-night performance by one of Australia’s most esteemed and enduring artists

Domenico de Clario
duet for one voice

Please join us at the new GASP! Pavilion at Wilkinson’s Point Thursday June 20, starting at the end of twilight, 6.25 pm and ending at sunrise the following day at 7.42 am. Forming the culmination of 40 years of art installations and performances, de Clario will be presenting a single performance over 13 hours that has taken place at different times and locations all over Australia and the world. Wear something warm, pull up a bean bag. Join us at sunrise for croissants and vegemite sandwiches at the conclusion of the performance on Friday morning– 7.15am-8.00am. Catch the Dark Mofo shuttle bus until late 6223 6064. Parking provided at Wilkinson’s Point.

Image of work credit: Fiona Fraser, SAC, Tonglen
(I think I know what I need but I always end up with what I want),
Domenico de Clario, 2013

Wood Architecture Now! Vol. 1

Nature’s greatest resource
Modern wood architecture from Tierra del Fuego to North Cape.

Wood is renewable and sustainable, solid and attractive. Wood can be bent and shaped to the most modern of designs. It is the material of the moment for contemporary architecture and this new volume allows readers to get a glimpse of the most exciting and dynamic new uses of wood in architecture from all over the world. Like earthen architecture, the use of wood is almost as ancient as building itself. The columns of Greek temples are stylized trees. Today’s wooden buildings do all kinds of surprising things, and most of all, they are as “green” as they come.

Featured architects and practices include:
70F, A1Architects, AldingerArchitekten, Atelier Masuda, Auer+Weber+Assoziierte, Pieta-Linda Auttila, Shigeru Ban, Beals-Lyon Arquitectos / Christian Beals, Bernardes + Jacobsen, BETON, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Enrique Browne, Bernard Bühler, Marco Casagrande, José Cruz Ovalle, dECOi Architects, dmvA, dRN Architects, Dumay + Fones + Vergara, Piet Hein Eek, ETH-Studio Monte Rosa / Bearth & Deplazes, Edouard François, General Design, Seppo Häkli, Yosuke Inoue, IROJE KHM Architects, Jackson Clements Burrows, Emma Johansson and Timo Leiviskä, Kauffmann Theilig & Partner, Mathias Klotz, Marcio Kogan, Kirsi Korhonen and Mika Penttinen, Nic Lehoux and Jacqueline Darjes, Niall McLaughlin Architects, Andreas Meck, Beatriz Meyer, Ken Sungjin Min, Murman Arkitekter, Rolf Carl Nimmrichter, Valerio Olgiati, Onix, PUSHAK, Room 11, Hans-Jörg Ruch, SARC Architects, Rodrigo Sheward, Simas and Grinspum, Studio Weave, Tezuka Architects, Turnbull Griffin Haesloop, Wingårdhs

The author:
Philip Jodidio (born 1954) studied art history and economics at Harvard, and edited Connaissance des Arts for over 20 years. His books include TASCHEN’sArchitecture Now! series, and monographs on Tadao Ando, Norman Foster, Richard Meier, Jean Nouvel, and Zaha Hadid. He is internationally renowned as one of the most popular writers on the subject of architecture.

Encyclopedia of Detail in Contemporary Residential Architecture

Laurence King

Kingston House‘, features in this comprehensive reference work which contains scale drawings of every type of detailing used in contemporary residential architecture.

Each section contains at least 50 drawings drawn to a set range of scales: 1:5, 1:10 or 1:50,  with detailed keys explaining construction and material. Each drawing is cross-referenced to other details from the same house.

The opening section of the book forms a directory that shows interior and exterior images of the source houses, together with credits, a brief descriptive text and information as to which details from that house are included. The houses in this section are organized by main construction material (wood, concrete, glass etc).

The book will be an invaluable reference work for all architects showing the best examples of residential detailing from around the world.

About the Author

Virginia McLeod has worked for a number of private practices in London and was also the editor of The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture. She currently works as a freelance writer and editor, specializing in contemporary architecture.

Utopia Forever – gestalten

Visions of Architecture and Urbanism

An inspirational exploration of utopias and radical approaches to city planning.Whether created by established architects and artists or new talents, the examples in Utopia Forever are important catalysts for fundamental change and are radically shaping our notions of life in the future. The current projects and concepts from architecture, city planning, urbanism, and art collected here point beyond the restrictions of the factual to unleash the potential of creative visions. This inspiring work explores how current challenges for architecture, mobility, and energy as well as the logistics of food consumption and waste removal can be met. Text features by both architects and theorists give added insight.

Editors: R. Klanten, L. Feireiss
Release Date: March 2011
Format: 24 x 28 cm
Features: 256 pages, fullcolor, flexicover
Language: English
ISBN: 978-3-89955-335-2

Archiecture Australia June 2013

Words – Jeff Malpas

Sometimes it can take time for the vision that belongs with a practice to emerge in a way that can be widely recognized or understood. In the case of Room 11, a practice based around the quartet of Tom Bailey, Nathan Crump, Aaron Roberts, and James Wilson, and now operating with offices in both Hobart and Melbourne, there seems to have been a determination and distinctiveness present from the very beginning. Yet it is perhaps only now that the full extent of the vision that lies at its heart can be fully appreciated. It is a vision being realized in an especially striking way as part of the Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP!) on the water’s edge at Elwick Bay.

There are few opportunities in Tasmania to work on this scale, and the GASP! site also connects with David Walsh’s much-publicized MONA. The first stage of the project, a walkway that curves round the bay towards the point, has already reinvigorated what was a neglected and marginal location. Yet it is with the second stage of the development on the point itself – where the ribbon of the walkway is finally weighted down – that the project achieves its fullest impact. There the experience of the surrounding landscape is shaped in a direct and almost commanding fashion by long walls that extend along two cardinal axes. The command here issues less from the walls, however, than from the landscape itself. Hobart is a windy place, and the point exposed, so that a key requirement is protection from the horizontal forces that blow across the site. The walls function as shelter, but since they partially obscure the western aspect, they also direct the view. Through the way they shelter and screen – in a way that invokes a range of important architectural precedents even as it establishes its own – the walls make for a complexity in the structure of the space that would not otherwise have appeared.

In spite of the widespread rhetoric that suggests otherwise, architects do not ‘make’ places. Rather they respond to them, to the potential in which they consist, and which they also offer. The architectural vision that the work of Room 11 articulates is a vision responsive in just this fashion – although, in addition, it is a vision that exhibits a remarkable clarity, simplicity, and assurance.

This vision is clearly present, not only in Glenorchy, where Bailey is the lead architect, but also in the house at Fern Tree designed by Bailey and his partner Megan Baynes.  Building here, on the slopes of Mount Wellington, one might suppose the view would be everything, and the aim to ensure none is missed. Yet from inside the house, one discovers that the lower half of the internal wall that looks in that direction is opaque, screening the main room from the road below, but also blocking the aspect beyond. The lower floor is not without views, but the screening of the lower wall creates a very specific bodily as well as visual orientation, while also intensifying the view that is available from the upper floor.

Again, it is the particular use of the wall as both screen and shelter (a fundamental architectural element made even more so through the deliberateness of its deployment) that is one of the key features of the design. The basic form of the building – an extended rectangle cantilevered out from a solid anchoring wall at the south-west end – echoes a key element of the form at work in Glenorchy. At Fern Tree, however, the building points longitudinally towards a view that is partially withheld, while in Glenorchy that view is opened up, and it is the view on the long western side that is partially obstructed. Nevertheless, the obscuring use of the wall operates in a similar fashion at both Glenorchy and Fern Tree – in both cases the wall serves to turn one back into another space (or spaces) opened up at right-angles to the axis of the corridor. At Fern Tree, one is turned back into the building, with a glance up to the sky, then out to the garden. At the Point, one is turned outwards to a stage that opens out to the landscape, even while still held in the embrace of the walls that shape the site.

These spatial complexities, and the way they operate through a particular deployment of the wall, are evident in other Room 11 projects. The wall is used in a way that intensifies its character as screen, as shelter, as anchor, as projection, and also as enclosing bound. Perhaps nowhere is this latter use of the wall clearer than in the Room 11 project at Longley, in which internal spaces are created that give the building an intensified interiority – through a darkened pantry, a sunken lounge, a skylit bathroom, a ‘courtyard’ space cut into the building’s envelope.

Whether or not one wishes to talk about a ‘Tasmanian’ architecture here, there can be no doubt that Room 11 has a vision that is responsive to a set of topographic and climatic elements characteristic of the island.  It is a powerful vision and one that will deserve close attention as it emerges further in Room 11’s future projects.



Jovis Publishers, Berlin, 2010

The spatial needs of contemporary cities and their supporting infrastructures stretch far beyond traditional city, territorial and national borders. New cultural practices are formed in these expanding contexts, allowing projects from terra-forming infrastructures to open-source design systems to grace the anthologies of architectural strategy and expression. This ventures architecture deeper into the cultural politics of collective space and artefact and confronts the previously subconscious systems that sustain urbanity. The book is a collection of project descriptions and essays selected from a select group of established and emerging architects and writers, each offering divergent potentials for architecture in infrastructure.




Kara Allen & Lauren Whiffen
Editors/Creative Directors – FALLEN


In the year 2100, the mainland of Australia will be connected to Tasmania via a grand infrastructure project. Spanning Hobart to Melbourne, the umbilical bridge will act as a spine for high-speed transit, allowing hyper-connectivity for personal, commercial and agricultural commodities. It will initiate new urban centers, thereby reformatting the densification of urban sprawl and altering economical, ecological, cultural and political networks of both mainland and island state. Furthermore, the linear passage will have the ability to recycle waste and harvest energy.

This is Island Proposition 2100; the vision of young architectural practice Room11, developed in partnership with Zurich-based Australians Scott Lloyd and Katrina Stoll. “The core idea was connecting regions together; we feel that if you truly want to be sustainable, there needs to be this regional connectivity,” says Aaron Roberts, co-director of Room11. Although prospective in nature, the project – which was exhibited at the 2010 Venice Biennale – attempted to clarify the urban dichotomy of connecting the disconnected.

Although such technologies may seem nestled in the future, the underlying concept of this project is ingrained within Room11’s mantra and embedded in their completed work. For this band of four friends – Thomas Bailey, Nathan Crump, Aaron Roberts and James Wilson – their focus is adding value to the daily experience of all those affected by their work. “With architecture”, says Aaron, “there’s a sense that you’re creating an experience; you’re making people happy on a day-to-day basis. You’re potentially positively changing the way that people live and interact with one another and the world around them.”

With such grand responsibilities, the Room11 team keeps it real by producing projects that are thoughtful and responsive to the human condition. “So essentially we are using architecture as a veil to which you experience these particular places that you’re residing in, and we’re interested in having an emotional connection to place and to space,” says Aaron.

The Allens Rivulet House 2, which along with Little Big House scored three Royal Australian Institute of Architecture (RAIA) Tasmanian Chapter 2011 awards, is a beautiful example of their humble, contextual and uplifting architecture. This house is viewed from the exterior as a black object receding into the landscape, bracing itself from the unpredictable Tasmanian elements. Its toughened armour cocoons the interior space, and is only dissected at one point to reveal the entry. Here the materiality is softened to honey-coloured timber, which adds warmth and embraces the notion of threshold. “ARH2 is an example where you come home and you’re enveloped in a timber portal, which I saw as a marker to demarcate you arriving home or leaving the home,” says Aaron. “And I was hoping that this sort of moment that you go through the portal is a particularly olfactory experience; the landscape is completely taken away from you … and there’s a forced moment of self awareness and then through the veil of architecture you’re sort of transported back into this other method of being.” Glazing and fenestration, voids, and linked external areas percolate the outdoors through the building, and an expansive living space encourages a point of repose and sanctuary.

Similarly, the Little Big House successfully uses materiality and linear planning to define space, experience, and a heightened connection to environment. Built on the slopes of Mount Wellington high above Hobart, this house is a study in efficient living; the low-impact footprint is deliberately tight, the flexible planning is deceptively simple, and the material selection is economic yet innovative in its choice. The rectilinear dwelling is stacked across two levels to match the undulating alpine terrain, reducing the building footprint and thereby minimising in-ground construction works and maximising sun and light infiltration. Locally sourced celery-top pine and translucent polycarbonate cladding enables the house to be concurrently luminous and private. “The way the danpalon on the outside of the building filters light, it amplifies the volume in a way or contracts the volume, depending on what’s happening with the sun and the clouds,” explains Aaron. The project successfully attempts to answer the first-world problem of how might our residencies become more sustainable, an effort that was recognised with a commendation at the recent RAIA National Awards.

While Room11’s residential designs may appear rational and pared back, they avoid the archetype of the austere modern box. This is achieved through the gradation and playfulness of space and volume, and the punctuation of the building skin, which invites the exterior to enrich the user’s experience of interior. “At the end of the day we don’t want to be super prescriptive in terns of how the architecture might be experienced or used,” says Aaron. “But in the same breath we’re trying to be very strong and blunt in the way that we’re creating these volumes, because at the end of they day if you don’t do that the gesture can get lost.”

Room11’s oeuvre has been broadened with their expansion from the rogue colonial outpost of Tasmania to Melbourne. In additional to residencies, their projects encompass multi-residential apartments, affordable modular housing, medical centers and galleries. Although varied in scope and budget, Room11 endevour to maintain their design philosophies from project to project: increasing the variety of experience within a space; exploring the concepts of protection and exposure; and allowing the landscape to witness the architecture, rather than the other way around.

Despite Room11’s affinity for natural landscapes that have defined their early successes, the studio is keen to expand the discourse of its practice. “….we’re going through a point now where we’re trying to re-imagine what that might be and re-imagine how the practices might work together between Melbourne and Hobart,” says Aaron. Self-directed experimental architecture, critical thinking, and collaborative and speculative work, both between trans Tasman studios and with other creatives – which in the past has included installations with artists and fashion designers – is key to the future Room11 narrative. “I think that one of the great things about architecture,” reflects Aaron, “is that with every new project there is actually the opportunity to renew both yourself and the way you think, and the way you practice……”