This Mudgee Permanent Camping project by Casey Brown Architecture excels at working with its environment — which is not an easy task given its isolated, rugged cliff-side locale in New South Wales, Australia. The highly adaptable design can open completely to immerse its occupants in expansive views, and it can close to protect the interior from the intense sun, wind and even fires. Rainwater catchment, reclaimed materials and super insulation give this eco cabin high marks in sustainable design.
The two-story retreat sits on a mere 3×3 meter plot. The lower story panels are clad in copper and can be raised to create instant verandas. The small interior is open on three sides and features massive floor-to-ceiling windows and double doors on either side. The structure resembles a winged, floating mass when open and a fortified fort when closed.
Behind the south-side wall is a small water catchment tank. On the second level, accessible by ladder, are the sleeping quarters finished in reclaimed Ironbark Eucalyptus. This creates a dark, rich contrast to the airy living space below.
Good ventilation, shading, and high levels of insulation keep the cabin cool in the intense summers, and a wood stove helps temper the cooler winter months. The building was prefabricated and trucked to the site, where it was set on a pier foundation.
WHY THIS MATTERS:
The best green buildings are designed for the environments they are placed in. Difficult environments require well-insulated buildings that are suited to prevailing weather conditions — the Mudgee Permanent Camping project is a stellar example.