Design on show: Open House Hobart 2021

Posted on Dec 20, 2021

As part of last month’s Open House Hobart, H2o Director Tim Hurburgh had the pleasure of hosting the first ever open house of Robin Boyd’s Linden House. One of Boyd’s lesser-known works – and his only project in Tasmania – it was a privilege to help bring this hidden masterpiece into public view.


Located a short drive from Hobart, on the banks of the Derwent River in Plenty, Boyd designed Linden House to be a magnificently scaled, multipurpose glazed pavilion which “floats” between its grand swimmimg pool and the river. The house is still remarkably intact after nearly 60 years – right down to the painting of the front door in the architect’s favoured semi-gloss forest green.


Also on show in this year’s Open House program, was the Hobart Real Tennis Club, featuring the H2o-designed 2002 extension to the historic club. Founded in 1875, the Hobart Real Tennis Club was the first real tennis club in Australia, and one of the oldest active clubs in the world. ‘Real’ tennis was the forerunner to today’s tennis game – originally ‘lawn’ tennis.


The project involved the reworking and bringing together of two heritage-listed structures, featuring a new entrance and amenities pavilion with roof terrace. A highlight is the timber trellis-like screen, designed to reflect the detail of the existing buildings, while also recalling the unique timber racquets used for the sport. The screen provides shading and supports an existing grape vine planted in 1974 by world champion French real tennis player Pierre Etchebaster.


Pictured: Linden House at Open House Hobart 2021. Boyd and the original owners shared a passion for Japanese design and were inspired by the Derwent Valley’s all timber oast houses. Photo by Matt Sansom.