Tents have been a form of portable housing since nomadic humans figured out how to build, assemble and disassemble them, carrying these lightweight structures as a home-on-the-move, following their animals during seasonal migrations from pasture to pasture. No matter how settled we are, many of us still find delight in the freedom and lightness that the occasional tent-camping trip offers.
Australian Sparks Architects finds the best of both worlds in the swooping forms of this residence, made for a client located about 20 minutes from the Sunshine Coast. The site is in a clearing that is surrounded by rainforest, so to make the most of this idyllic outdoor location, the home is topped with a tensile tent roof made out of durable fabric, which shades the interior spaces, while the walls of glass allow for great views outside.
During the summer months, the home's roof panels can be opened up, allowing for better cross-ventilation and the inside to blend in seamlessly with the outside. On the other hand, in the colder weather of winter, the home's roof panels can be closed up to insulate the structure.
The home's centre is the open-plan kitchen, dining and living room, which is flanked by three bedrooms and bathroom off to the sides.
The question would be how creepy-crawlies and roosting birds are handled here -- no matter how much you love the outdoors, no one wants to wake up to a bed full of insects or bird poop, and there doesn't seem to be mesh screens here. The tent structure here is a kind of filter, shading the home but at the same time letting it permeate through its membrane, illuminating the glass and concrete box below.
Admittedly, glass and concrete aren't the most eco-friendly of building strategies -- especially in a hot climate -- but the fact that it can open up and is shielded by a tent overhead makes it slightly better-adapted than say, Philip Johnson's Glass House. At least you've got the view. See more over at Sparks Architects.