“This little building is a soft gesture of curved timber sitting aloft, generously hugging an expansive view of The Hazards,” said Matt Williams Architects. “A place for quiet reflection, solitude and respite for our beautiful clients.”

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A wooden structure with a wooden walkway leading up to it sits in a sandy area

It’s a tiny home, a studio apartment and a refuge. Whatever you call it, Dolphin Sands Studio’s unique architecture along the Australian coastline was inspired by the shape of vintage slide viewfinders. 

Related: Solar panels power this sleek, net-zero tiny home on wheels

The wooden structure opens its front doors to showcase the openness of the architecture

The clients, a couple of artists, are living in the tiny home until their main house is completed. At which point, the Dolphin Sands Studio will convert to a guest house for visitors. Located on Tasmania’s eastern coast, the home and the window placements are oriented to take in views of the surrounding Great Oyster Bay and Freycinet Peninsula.

A dark green tree covers partially a wooden structure

Upon approach, visitors will see the outdoor shower and hardwood deck. Furthermore, the home is elevated on stilts to accommodate the dune landscape and insist on minimal site impact for the structure. 

A person sits on a windowsill with a bed beside them looking out of the sandy views

While exposed to the elements, the structure offers shelter, allowing in copious natural light and cross-ventilation. Designed by sustainable-architecture firm Matt Williams Architects, the focus for a minimalist design made of locally-sourced materials was in alignment with the client’s goals. Inasmuch, the driveway, the water tank for both household use and fire fighting, electricity and wastewater were all designed to minimize disturbance of the land. 

Interior details of the Dolphin Sands Studio features a dark-gray curtain and black tile floor against a wooden structure

Additionally, materials for the home were carefully considered to avoid concrete and work in conjunction with the land. The pathway from the road contours around the existing dunes. The effort to raise the home allows plants to grow without impact. Inside, oriented strand board lines the walls for a minimalist vibe. Black limestone pavers used for flooring add contrast and contribute to the well-insulated envelope of the home.

A forested area partially hides a studio on a hill with the water horizon in the distance

“The design brings the experience of living in a beautifully crafted physical artwork that inspires all aspects of our life,” commented the clients. “We love the feeling of calm and the fact that the space grounds us in the natural surroundings. The studio gives you a feeling of reverential respect for the vision and craftsmanship mixed with joy and wonder. Living in the space is our personal meditation.”

+ Matt Williams Architects 

Photography by Adam Gibson