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30 / October / 2023
Marrying Timeless Material with Contemporary Design: A Bruny Island Masterpiece

Set against the picturesque Bruny Island is Coopworth, a farmhouse that effortlessly marries traditional materials with cutting-edge design. The maestro behind this project, Fiona Dunin, didn't just conceive a house – she designed a conversation piece, a recipient of the esteemed 2021 Tasmanian Architecture Awards: People's Choice. And, central to this architectural narrative is Lysaght's iconic CUSTOM ORB®.

"There's really only one material that we considered for the cladding of this building, which is the LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® in COLORBOND® colour Terrain®." - Fiona Dunin, Coopworth's Design Architect (FMD Architects)

Painting a Picture with Coopworth

The name Coopworth is synonymous with innovation and excellence. This farmhouse not only interacts with its immediate environment of Coopworth sheep but also resonates with the broader Bruny Island landscape – those weathering red lead shacks, the expansive water views, and the distant mountain ranges.

Every design choice made speaks volumes about the project's ethos. The conscious decision to keep the house's footprint minimal ensures maximum arable land, a nod to sustainable and thoughtful architecture. Yet, the interior is anything but constrained. While primarily crafted for two, Coopworth has the flexibility to accommodate family and friends, with its innovative verandah sleepouts and caravan-inspired bunk beds.

Fiona Dunin’s ingenious use of frameless windows pushed to the edges of the floorplate captures the essence of Bruny Island – welcoming the raw beauty and brutality of its weather patterns while simultaneously offering a haven from them.

"We really needed to think about the storms, the wind, and the rain that hit this building... this material [LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB®] really allows us to envelop the building and protect the building without any potential risk of leaks or anything like that." - Fiona Dunin

Why CUSTOM ORB® Stood Out for Coopworth

1. Logistical Elegance: Given Bruny Island's geographical challenges, the lightweight CUSTOM ORB® offered the ease of transport via boat or ferry.

2. Enduring Protection: Designed for resilience, CUSTOM ORB® stands as a guardian against natural elements, ensuring utmost protection against potential leaks.

3. Design Freedom: As Fiona highlighted, the versatility of CUSTOM ORB® unlocked avenues for a diverse architectural expression. Its adaptability to both traditional and modern designs was key for Coopworth's unique aesthetic.

"The use of the CUSTOM ORB® allowed a sort of real design freedom, we can use it in so many different ways with so many different shapes." - Fiona Dunin

Modern Traditions and the Way Forward

Though Lysaght’s CUSTOM ORB® harks back to Australia's architectural traditions, its application in Coopworth is a testament to its potential for modern design. This duality is what makes it a perennial favorite.

Coopworth stands as a beacon for what's possible with vision, the right materials, and impeccable design. Let this award-winning project, featured on season six of Australia ByDesign, Architecture be your inspiration as you chart your architectural journey.

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