Issue 80

Going bush has always been the perfect antidote to our busy modern lives. But right now, many of us have a particularly deep yearning to get out of the city and escape the claustrophobic nature this pandemic has brought.

The homes in this issue respond to that need in modest ways. They are not simply well-designed houses, they pay great respect to the places they inhabit and disrupt as little of the surrounding vegetation as possible.

Architect Lara Maeseele fell deeply for a bush block on Tasmania’s Bruny Island and welcomed the restraints placed by a conservation overlay, to build a house fitting of the precious site.

On North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) in Queensland, three families engaged REFRESH*DESIGN to consider the traditional campground in designing their shared holiday house. They were after simplicity, with an emphasis on communal areas and well removed from luxury trappings.

Bird hides were the inspiration behind a gently curved home on Venus Bay in Victoria. Architect Antony Martin designed the house as a place of observation, whilst limiting its own visibility in the scrub.

At 63-square-metres, a robust and cosy cabin on a buffeted hilltop in New Zealand more than met its brief to architect Claire Natusch to be “somewhere to boil up the billy and escape the rigours of milking for the weekend”.

Finally, tucked into a copse of melaleuca trees, architect Justin Buckwell’s design for a family returning from overseas blends Japanese aesthetics with Australian bush architecture.

In the city, we look at gardens that evoke the bush: wild and full of adventure and we travel into the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast searching out waterfalls and walks in nature.