Off-Grid Tiny Cabin Inspired by Japanese Design: Bruny Island Hideaway

Architects: Maguire + Devine Architects
Project: Off-Grid Tiny Cabin / Bruny Island Hideaway
Team: Dan Devine, Hugh Maguire
Principal builder: George Morozoff
Builder: Merlin Constructions
Location: Alonnah, Bruny Island, Tasmania
Completed 2017
Photographer: Rob Maver
Materials: Baltic pine, Merbau, Zincalume

Tucked away in a clearing surrounded by 99 acres of forest, this off-grid tiny cabin is an escape from the high stress of our client’s busy work life. Born in Taiwan, she spent her childhood in traditional Japanese houses (built during occupation). Out of this grew a love for highly crafted minimalist design. Our brief was to capture that and design a building as a piece of furniture with everything she needs built in. The only furniture allowed was a low table and mattress on the sleeping loft.

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With long views to the south and tall trees to the north, the cabin opens onto an east and west deck, capturing morning and afternoon sun while affording views to the south. A high roof allowed solar panels and a skylight to catch sun from over the trees. Internally, light coloured timber creates a warm, cosy sense of enclosure, referencing not only Japanese architecture, but remote wilderness cabins from all over the world, creating a real sense of ‘otherness’ and escape.

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