ancher architecture office reinterprets the traditional cottages of bicheno, tasmania

ancher architecture office reinterprets the traditional cottages of bicheno, tasmania

learning from bicheno


Australia-based Ancher Architecture Office celebrates the heritage of Bicheno, Tasmania with this breezy Wavesong Cottage extension. The town has long stood as a small fishing and resort village just a two hour’s drive up the coast from Hobart, the island state’s capital city. With offices in both Hobart and Melbourne, the young architecture practice is no stranger to the area — in fact, the lead architects have even grown up on the pristine island and thus operate with a respect for the natural context and good design together.

ancher architecture bichenoimages © Adam Gibson |



the contemporary cottage on coastal tasmania


The Wavesong Cottage, newly renovated by Ancher Architecture Office (see more here) has stood as a fisherman’s cottage since the 1930s. The nearly century-old dwelling, clad in weatherboard, was originally built to create interior spaces which are cozy and intimate. This humble atmosphere of the home stands in stark contrast to the vast landscapes beyond of Tasmania’s Waubs Bay. With this context in mind, the team translates the fisherman’s cottage through a contemporary lens to create a breezy and modern new intervention.


The design team explains its process: ‘Our design sought to celebrate the view across Waubs Bay, whilst retaining the cottage’s original charm. Working within a modest budget, we were presented with a number of unusual challenges, such as penguin proofing the exterior to preserve the integrity of the local colony and working in a regional town through Tasmanian border closures.’

ancher architecture bicheno



a new take on tradition by ancher architecture office


With its gabled profile, the addition by Ancher Architecture Office takes shape as a continuation of the dwellings of its context — examples of such traditional shed architecture can found up and down the east coast of Tasmania. The simple gable form is joined to the original shack by way of a low glazed link to clearly delineate between old and new. Meanwhile, the flexible open floor plan creates room for large family gatherings during holidays.

ancher architecture bicheno ancher architecture bicheno


ancher architecture bicheno

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