Tiny House

Australian architects create a tiny off-grid marvel in the country

Gawthorne’s Hut – CAARCH, NSW, Australia

Gawthorne’s Hut, nestled within a working rural property just 10 minutes from the heart of Mudgee, NSW, Australia stands as a testament to sustainable luxury and innovative design. This off-grid, 2-person dwelling offers a unique experience that seamlessly blends modern comfort with a deep respect for the surrounding environment. From its architectural ingenuity to its sustainable features, Gawthorne’s Hut sets a new standard for eco-friendly tourism projects.

Designed by Australia architectural firm CAARCH, Gawthorne’s Hut is a striking fusion of contemporary luxury and rural charm. Boasting an angled galvanized clad shell, the design pays homage to the traditional rural vernacular of hay sheds and outbuildings, with the rich timber-lined interior further accentuating this connection to the land. This design not only celebrates the local architectural heritage but also serves as a reminder of resilience, as it was inspired by an existing hay shed that fell victim to a storm in 2017.

The micro floor plan, spanning 40sqm internally, cleverly maximizes space through an open-plan layout and minimal joinery, with the only enclosed area being the bathroom. This efficient use of space demonstrates that luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive but can coexist harmoniously.

The property boasts an off-grid solar system with battery storage, rainwater harvesting, double-glazed blackbutt windows for insulation, thermal mass to regulate temperature, gas hot water, efficient bathroom fixtures, and passive solar shading. These features not only reduce the environmental impact of the dwelling but also showcase the potential for sustainable living without compromising on comfort.

The acclaim garnered by Gawthorne’s Hut is a testament to its exceptional design and commitment to sustainable principles. In 2021, it received the Australian Institute of Architects NSW Country Division Architecture Award for Small Project Architecture, recognizing its innovative and thoughtful approach to small-scale design. Additionally, it was shortlisted for the 2021 Architizer International Architecture Awards in the category of Architecture + Living Small, further solidifying its place among the world’s most innovative architectural endeavors. Furthermore, it was honored with the 2021 Airbnb Host Award for Best Unique Stay in Australia, acknowledging its distinction as a one-of-a-kind retreat that offers an unparalleled experience to its guests.

The success and recognition of Gawthorne’s Hut underscore a growing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly accommodation. The rise of sustainable luxury retreats like Gawthorne’s Hut presents an opportunity for the industry to embrace environmentally responsible practices while delivering exceptional guest experiences.


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