Tasmania-based firm Maguire + Devine Architects has created a gorgeous Japanese-inspired, off-grid tiny cabin tucked away into a remote island off the coast of Tasmania. The 301-square-foot home is designed to operate completely off the grid and comes complete with solar panels and a rainwater collection system.
The tiny cabin is located on 99 acres of Bruny Island, a tranquil destination just off the Tasmanian coast. Using minimalist design features, the architects set about to create a soothing retreat that would evoke a sense of serenity and have a strong connection to the surrounding landscape.
The compact cabin is clad in bush fire-resistant wood siding at its base and enclosed on one side with zincalume metal siding, which is also used for the sloped roof. The shed-like roofline adds character to the design, but it’s also a strategic feature that allows more space for solar panels. Taking advantage of the location, the architects positioned the cabin to open up to the east and west so that the homeowners could enjoy early morning and afternoon sunshine.
According to the architects, the design for the off-grid cabin was inspired by their client’s love of Japanese minimalist design. “Our brief was to capture that love and design a building as a piece of furniture with everything she needs built in,” the firm said. “The only furniture allowed was a low table and mattress on the sleeping loft.”
Inside, the living space, which is clad in light-colored wooden panels, is bright and airy, illuminated with natural light from a large skylight. Two large sliding doors open up to two wooden decks facing east and west, creating a seamless connection between the inside and the outside. The low-lying platforms were built without railings, so nothing obstructs the views of the surrounding wilderness. To provide the ultimate retreat experience, one of the decks includes a recessed tub for the resident to relax while watching the sun go down.
The two large sliding doors are made out of transparent glazing, another nod to Japanese design. “Translucent glass in the sliding doors references the light qualities of Japanese rice-paper screens, creating a sense of enclosure and privacy at night, while encouraging the occupant to open them during the day,” the architects explained. “They also prevent birds, including the endangered swift parrot, from attempting to fly through the building and striking the glass.”
Located at the back of the home is a compact kitchen, equipped with a Nectre Bakers oven that is not only used for cooking but also supplies sustainable heating in the colder months. The bedroom is located in a sleeping loft accessible by ladder. An elevated seating area with a large window provides the most stunning views of the island.
Photography by Rob Maver via Maguire + Devine Architects