Elms House

Elms House

Stuart Tanner Architects
Coningham, Tasmania, Australia
Project Year
Private Houses
Brett Boardman

Elms House

Stuart Tanner Architects as Architects

Elms House, by Stuart Tanner Architects, is located on an escarpment overlooking Snug Bay, perched strikingly, yet discretely, spanning an undisturbed outlook to eucalypts and the water beyond.


The clients, a retired couple, steered the brief for this project, based on their previous home built in Melbourne in the 1970’s. The home was to be chiefly single level, incorporate large amounts of Tasmanian light, include walls zones for their fine art collection, and capture a sense of their previous family home through materials and spatial arrangements. The 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home has many standout features; the home's relaxed and understated scale, and its ability to relate to the garden setting as well as the bay beyond; the home's gentle approach to the site contour; the relaxed use of materials and considered introduction of colour; and the home's success in creating social spaces within and around the building envelope.


Receding from the boundaries to create a fringe around the perimeter, the design was worked in to a tight building envelope imposed by the historical zoning of the site, and the single level brief. Materiality includes concrete masonry, steel and timber fenestration on the exterior and concrete brickwork, spotted gum timber flooring, Tasmanian oak joinery, and steel on the interior. Considered strokes of vibrant red colour appear in vertical steel posts and internal doors, expressing a true modernist notion. Core principals of thermal efficiency and sustainability have also been incorporated into the overall design.


This home really does command respect to its architect and its finished outcome. The culminating character is one of quiet dignity, whilst maintaining the enhanced and complimentary countenance of the site. Sitting low and wide on the escarpment, and in a secluded setting, a feeling of security and utmost serenity resides.


Elms house won the Residential - New, in the Tasmanian AIA Architecture Awards 2018.

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