Gawthorne’s Hut is a luxury, 2 person, off-grid cabin within a working rural property in rural NSW. The project intends to create a sustainable tourism experience that responds to the history and context of the property. The property demonstrates the possibilities of diversifying traditional farming income through tourism revenue while also demonstrating the possibilities for rural properties in Australia to accommodate more permanent inhabitants and diversify population from urban cities.
The angled galvanised clad shell and rich timber lined interior reference the predominant rural vernacular of hay sheds and outbuildings. The angled roof form is both a reference to the relic of the existing shed and also the client’s desire to accommodate North facing solar panels on the building. The angled form is emphasised internally through a blackbutt lined ceiling which also frames the valley views to the East.
The Micro floor plan of 40m2 is maximised through the use of an open plan and minimal joinery, the only enclosed area being the WC. The recycled bricks have been meticulously repurposed from the only surviving part of the original cottage on the property, the fireplace. Like many rural properties throughout NSW the only sign of a previous building is the defiant existing chimney still standing strong after all around it has been destroyed. The recycled brick wall within the space references the existing chimney and providing a degree of separation to the bathroom. The stack-bond coursing emphasises the fact that the bricks are no longer load bearing.
The property demonstrates to guests the opportunities of building smaller footprints and incorporating sustainable design elements, such as the grid solar system and battery storage, rainwater storage, Double glazed windows and doors, thermal mass via a polished concrete slab, gas hot water, efficient fixtures and passive solar shading.