The Box House: An Off-Grid Cabin in Australia

The Box House: An Off-Grid Cabin in Australia

The Box House is a 388 square foot cabin building designed by Nicholas Murcutt Architect. The tiny cabin building celebrates the art of camping in a timber cube home design, is located on an un-serviced rural site about 300 miles south of Sydney. The tiny cabin design is essentially a hard tent that complements the pre-existing campfire and the outdoor bathtub that the clients had already established as part of their campsite on the building lot. There is a small kitchen inside this unique small house plan, although most of the cooking is still done over the campfire. The little cabin building is glazed to the north and clad in recycled hardwood on the other sides with exposed timber-framing inside the tiny cabin design. The wood cabin has square fixed windows and solid shutters. The rustic cabin building is reminiscent of a rural barn, and perfectly located in a rural setting.



The owners of the cabin building started as campers in the area, and when they eventually got tired of camping in a tent, they decided to build a more substantial shelter. An architect by the name of Nicholas Murcutt designed the cabin building, which was inspired by a timber barn that still looks modern because of its shapes like a cube. A family of four can live in this tiny cabin design comfortably. This cabin building is 388 square feet with an additional loft that is half its original size, so the cabin building offers adequate space.


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The walls of the tiny off-grid cabin building are not insulated, offering a gum framing as its interior look. The cabin building was first built without a bathroom, and after a period of time a second storage shed, which was heated with solar panels became the bath area. The Box House cabin design is located in the Australian bush 300 miles south of Sydney. The owners started by camping on the land but wanted a shelter that was just a step up from tenting. Architect Nicholas Murcutt was one of the founding partners of Neeson Murcutt Architects. The small cabin resembles a timber barn built with a modernist cube shape.



The Box House is a deceptively simple wooden box raised slightly on concrete piers. The north wall of the cabin building is fully glazed, likely requiring some clever structural engineering, while the other sides of the cabin are mostly solid with just a few small windows covered by wooden shutters matching the Eucalyptus siding. The cabin building has a 388 square foot main floor plus a loft that about half that size. Rainwater is collected in an elevated tank provides water. When the tiny cabin design was first built, it did not have electricity, hot water or a bathroom (they used an outdoor bathtub and the neighbor’s outhouse). Those luxuries were added over time, with the bathroom located just outside the cabin in a storage shed topped by solar panels. This cabin building fits in perfectly with its natural surroundings and provides a nice off-grid home to get away from it all.



This Story was Inspired By: Neesom Murcutt Architects

Be sure to check out their website for more great things like this!


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