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Picnic Island Nominated for Australian Institute of Architects Award.

April 29, 2017 Accolades No Comments Email Email

Picnic Island is the latest bespoke retreat to open in Tasmania this year. This little copper clad lodge perches on rocks above the high water mark on its own private island on the Freycinet Peninsula. Designed by legendary Tasmanian architect, John Latham, the design incorporates multiple decks, living area and sleeping quarters in a compact site which was once a convict sandstone quarry (one of the sandstone blocks found during construction now sits as a hearth under the suspended fireplace).

The building of this retreat is a triumph of both planning and practical execution. No-where in Australia have approvals been granted for tourism buildings this close to the water and the sensitive design respects the majestic natural environment in which it sits. The building sits below the ridge line and is virtually invisible from shore in Coles Bay. The buildings were sited to ensure that the island seabird rookery full of penguins and shearwaters can continue to co-exist with tourist visitors.

Every single nail and plank of wood has been transferred by hand out to this island, mainly using a 3 metre tinny. Some items were floated out there on barges or simply dropped in the water and towed behind the tinny. The logistics and practicalities of building on a little island were hugely complex.

This project was completed just a few months ago and it has been nominated for the Australian Institute of Architects awards for 2017 under the Small Project category.

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