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A Timber Off-Grid Cabin That’s Tough Enough for the Formidable Australian Outback
Among the home’s numerous sustainable features is a rainwater collection system that feeds back into the house from an elevated tank. The bathroom is still outside in a storage shed topped with solar panels, while the owners opt for a campfire to do most of their cooking. Inside the house there is no insulation or finish of any kind; instead, the timber framing has been left exposed to create a barn-like atmosphere.
In order to reduce its environmental impact and presumably keep out as many snakes and insects as possible, the house was built on raised concrete piers. Even further from the ground is a second-floor sleeping loft accessible by ladder. Small windows, large windows, and sliding glass doors ensure the property is always flooded with light – giving the sensation of living outside.
Nick Murcutt completed the project in 2002, after which he went on to found Neeson Murcutt Architects with his wife in 2004. Sadly, he died a few years later from lung cancer, but the Box House is testament to his work. It was completed using only a wish-list from the client, photographs, and a site survey. Even without being able to visit the site, Murcutt was able to build a warm and welcoming home that handles the challenges of the outback with ease.
Images by Brett Boardman
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