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Cape Tribulation Home

The Cape Tribulation Home, designed by brisbane-based M3 Architecture. This house is in the rainforest, near the beach at Cape Tribulation. The qualities of this place and holiday life are accentuated. A path choreographs the journey through the rainforest. The house recedes in the shadows of the rainforest and opens up on the interior to the tall canopy overhead. The design was built around the idea that it has a sensitive natural surrounding eco-system.

Cape-Tribulation-Home-By-M3-architecture-03-Peter-Bennetts-759x543 Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture

© Peter Bennetts

“This off-the-grid home is close to the beach at Cape Tribulation in the Daintree Rainforest — an ancient ecosystem deserving of a thoughtful approach to its site. The sensitive nature of this ecosystem demanded sustainable design choices.” – M3 architecture

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© Peter Bennetts

Cape-Tribulation-Home-By-M3-architecture-05-Peter-Bennetts-759x734 Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture

© Peter Bennetts

M3 architecture:

The home is located in a natural clearing, which consequently avoided any mature tree removal. The exterior is camouflaged with black plastic cladding and mirrored glass, allowing it to recede into the shadow of the rainforest canopy.

Cape-Tribulation-Home-By-M3-architecture-10-Peter-Bennetts-857x1200 Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture

© Peter Bennetts

Cape-Tribulation-Home-By-M3-architecture-14-Peter-Bennetts-858x1200 Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture

© Peter Bennetts

A light interior space clad with plywood opens out to the rainforest surrounds, and engages the canopy through tall south-facing windows. The house is naturally ventilated, assisted by ceiling fans, and all appliances and fixtures are energy efficient.

Cape-Tribulation-Home-By-M3-architecture-15-Peter-Bennetts-759x788 Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture

© Peter Bennetts

Cape-Tribulation-Home-By-M3-architecture-17-Peter-Bennetts-759x757 Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture

© Peter Bennetts

A path organises the site and choreographs a journey from the road, through the dense rainforest vegetation and down to the beach. Along the path, a continuous white rope orients and playful leads the way through the landscape and house. The rope acts as a gate, balustrade, towel rail, lamp shade and support for a hammock throughout the home.

Cape-Tribulation-Home-By-M3-architecture-21-Peter-Bennetts-759x804 Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture

© Peter Bennetts

Cape-Tribulation-Home-By-M3-architecture-24-Peter-Bennetts-759x702 Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture

© Peter Bennetts

Relaxed pavilions accommodate multiple sleeping arrangements, with living spaces that serve as a makeshift campsite, and couple rooms that transform into bunk rooms.The design couples qualities of the rainforest, with the attributes of holiday life at the beach.

Cape-Tribulation-Home-By-M3-architecture-29-Peter-Bennetts-759x276 Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture

© Peter Bennetts

Project Data:

Project name: Cape Tribulation Home
Location: Rykers Rd, Cape Tribulation, Queensland 4873, Australia
Coordinates: -16.067179, 145.462463

  • Type By Characteristic: Green & Sustainable House, Holiday House
  • Type By Site: Forest House
  • Type By Size: Medium House – (201 sqm – 450 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Composite Materials House

Floor count: 1
Site area: n/a
Project area: approximately 220 sqm
Status: Completed
Completion Year: 2014


  • 2017 – Australian Institute of Architects Awards – Queensland Architecture Awards – Robin Dods Award – Category: Residential Architecture / Houses (New) – Winner
  • 2015 – Australian Houses Awards – Category: Sustainability – Commendation

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Private

Interior designer: John Wardle Architects and NADAAA in collaboration

Project Team:

  • Ben Vielle, Michael Banney, Amy L’Estrange

Builder: Keith Tesch Homes


  • Structural Engineer: Mills Engineers and Bligh Tanner


  • Certifier: GMA Certification Group
  • Life Cycle Assessment / Water and Energy Analysis: Integreco
  • Water and energy analysis: Integreco

Text Description: © Courtesy of M3 architecture
Images: © M3 architecture, Peter Bennetts


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Cape Tribulation Home / M3 architecture
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