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Robe, South Australia


In Progress


Land of






Tonkin Structural Engineers


Kokoda Drive

A distinct family home reinterprets mid-century simplicity and traditional materials. 

Located on a corner block in the seaside town of Robe, this three-bedroom home leans on creative brickwork, playful angular facades, and a carefully balanced interior layout to become both an enduring space for its owners and a respectful design for a growing residential neighbourhood. Our clients approached us to design a lasting residence of modest size and budget, a space with ample social areas able to easily host visiting family and friends while still providing moments of calm privacy.


A dividing line

By using materials found throughout the town in simple yet interesting ways, Kokoda Drive is subtle in its individuality without being ostentatious or disruptive of its surroundings.
A datum — a dividing line reflected on the house’s exterior and interior — creates a defined contrast between the pale grey pitched metal roof and the warm textured brick that wraps the residence. We unfolded the southern façade’s crafted brickwork, playfully forming the home’s distinctive sharp corners and giving the exterior depth, while also framing the front bedroom views of the nearby native bushland and creating a sense of still enclosure.

Light-filled interiors

Kokoda’s interiors draw on an arrangement of muted colours to create a rhythmically contrasted space. The Blackbutt timber wall linings and earthy tones of the exposed brickwork are carefully bookmarked by the oyster grey joinery that references the exterior palette. 

As our clients needed private bedrooms for their visiting family, we organised the guest bathroom and pantry at the heart of the home to act as a buffer, dividing the southern guest bedrooms from the north-facing living spaces. An ensuite and walk-in wardrobe creates another separation between the social areas and the master bedroom. 

The floor-to-ceiling windows on the northern edge of the living area and adjoining master bedroom amplify the overall sense of space and prioritise abundant light. Highlight windows provide diffused southern light to the open living areas.




Kokoda’s prominent corner block was an opportunity to create a considered design, a memorable home for both client and community that respectfully defines the character of a new neighbourhood. Our collaboration with the owners allowed the brief to evolve past the initial iteration, tease out creative elements from the budget, and produce a unique design largely based on common residential materials. 

A different opportunity


Stripped-back Georgian heritage and specialist stonemasonry.

A sympathetic restoration shaped by modern tastes.

Contrast and balance, tradition and modernity. Just what a family home needs. We responded to Symmons Plains’ significance in Tasmania’s history while curating a contemporary home for the new custodians - a family of seven.

We aimed to reveal the richness of the stories that came before. Colonist John Arndell Youl built Symmons Plains in 1839 with a structure crafted using early Australian settlement techniques. Youl famously introduced the brown trout to Australia. His family lived at Symmons for seven generations until it was bought in 2011. When we demolished the building’s original concrete, it revealed an eclectic mix of bed springs and old fencing added for reinforcement; a history of its own. It felt exciting to arrive at an answer for open, contemporary living within a building essentially the antithesis of that.