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Shearers’ Quarters North Bruny Island, Tasmania, John Wardle Architects

A more modest, and perhaps more interesting, room with a view: seasonal housing for Tasmanian sheep-shearers

There were already a million sheep in Tasmania in 1840, when this farm was acquired by one Captain Kelly. Sheep were shorn by small teams who moved around the country bunking in primitive timber huts and working back-breaking hours in corrugated-iron shearing sheds. Today sheds are mechanised but because it’s difficult to justify investing much in buildings which are used for only a few weeks each year, conditions haven’t improved a lot. Except here, where the annual shearers live in accommodation otherwise used by friends of the architect’s family who work the farm and live in the nearby refurbished house of Captain Kelly.

m2916_97568for_textThe twisted tin skin plays on the conventions of corrugated shacks

The traditional Australian shearing shed is referenced by its long shape and corrugated skin but given a twist by a roof which begins at one end as a monopitch and segues into a flat gable at the other. Internal surfaces are pine boarding and in the bedrooms, recycled apple crates. In traditional farming style, drinking, lavatory and shower water is all harvested and waste water treated and used for irrigation.

sections___elevations_clean_for_text_01Long Section of Shearer’s Quarters

WAF Preview Introduction

The fourth World Architecture Festival will take place 3-5 October 2012 in Singapore. For further information on the event, which features an extensive lecture programme, including a keynote address by Peter Buchanan, go to:

Read the WAF Preview Introduction

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