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Creative mind at work

Tent House designed by Sparks Architects


Creative mind at work

Multi-award winning architect Dan Sparks is the man behind the now famous Tent House. Dan Sparks of Sparks Architects on the Sunshine Coast

This Noosa holiday home has featured in various magazines around the globe.

The young architect will be one of six professionals speaking at the SCOH discussion panel this weekend.

MWP caught up with Dan to talk about his passion and the future of design.

You have travelled extensively. How has this influenced your work?
My travels mid-degree were an incredible opportunity for me to experience first hand historical and modern buildings. Importantly, it was also an opportunity to experience myriad global cultures, particularly with respect to the way different cultures’ buildings respond to their climates and through their buildings, how people engage with the environment and each other.

Why did you base your firm on the Coast?
The lifestyle, the environment, the people and the opportunity to evolve a lineage of quality architectural practice.

What are you currently working on?
Six Sunshine Coast houses at various stages of design and construction, a warehouse apartment in Teneriffe, a very unique house for a boat builder in Brisbane, a series of luxury accommodation ‘Tree Pods’ for a hotelier in Ahmedabad, India and ‘G-pod’– a globally transportable building system.

How has architecture evolved globally?
I feel that the increase in the use of social media platforms to showcase global architecture is creating, like so many aspects of global culture, something of a melting pot of ideas and inspiration. Architects throughout the world are all dealing with similar problems and through the internet and the evolution of digital platforms we have the ability to learn from each other.

How has it changed locally?
I feel that the Sunshine Coast has always had something of an experimental approach to its architecture, but one which has always been deeply founded in a desire to understand and evolve an appropriate architectural response to our region’s climate and natural environment. We are no longer dealing with the idyllic notion of bush and beach holiday homes and villages. The Sunshine Coast is rapidly becoming a city and the challenge for the architects, planners, designers, developers and politicians of our region is to ensure that the reasons why we all love living here so much isn’t lost forever in the process. I have never been a big fan of the concept of design styles. What is of far more interest to me is the fundamentals of what makes a home liveable and appropriate for its time and place and in that regard we need to understand, respect and respond to our regions ‘genius loci’, our spirit of place. We are incredibly fortunate that our climate allows for a lifestyle that is as much outdoors as in.

Dan Sparks shares his thoughts…

“The Tent House is situated in a forest clearing on the edge of a pocket of remnant rainforest. The brief called for a four-bedroom family home that would allow the owners to celebrate a special site and our beautiful benign climate.
I felt that a key requirement for the design was the need for the roof form to soar. The design evolved quickly and after confirming with our wonderful and brave clients that they loved to camp, we presented our proposal.
The design is a modern pavilion (the eski) under a souring translucent tensile membrane structure (the tent). The pavilion has a series of glazed walls that slide away into pockets and automated roofs that slide open. The result is a living environment that could adapt to the seasons and when the weather allows, to be transformed into a living platform under a tent, in a rainforest.”

Tent House will be open to the public during Open House.

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