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Cape Tribulation House

This off-the-grid home is close to the beach at Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest — an ancient ecosystem deserving of a thoughtful approach to its site. The sensitive nature of this ecosystem demanded sustainable design choices.

We positioned the new home in a natural clearing, which consequently avoided any mature tree removal. The exterior is camouflaged with black plastic cladding and mirrored glass, allowing it to recede into the shadow of the rainforest canopy.

A light interior space clad with plywood opens out to the rainforest surrounds, and engages the canopy through tall south-facing windows.

The house is naturally ventilated, assisted by ceiling fans, and all appliances and fixtures are energy efficient.

A path organises the site and choreographs a journey from the road, through the dense rainforest vegetation and down to the beach.

Along the path, a continuous white rope orients and playfully leads the way through the landscape and house. The rope acts as a gate, balustrade, towel rail, lamp shade and support for a hammock throughout the home.

Relaxed pavilions accommodate multiple sleeping arrangements — living spaces serve as a makeshift campsite, and couple rooms transform into bunk rooms.

The Cape Tribulation House couples the tropical qualities of the rainforest, with the attributes of holiday life at the beach.

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Photography by Peter Bennetts