At a glance, you might think that the wedge-shaped Gawthorne’s Hut was a simple farm building – and that’s by design. Its utilitarian form references a hay shed destroyed in a storm in 2017. It also runs off-the-grid thanks to solar power.



At a glance, you might think that Cameron Anderson Architects’ wedge-shaped Gawthorne’s Hut was a simple farm building – and that’s by design. The cabin getaway’s utilitarian exterior references a hay shed that was destroyed in a storm in 2017 and belies a comfortable and cosy interior for two. It also runs totally off-the-grid with solar power and rainwater collection.

Bringing to mind Scotland’s Tinhouse, Gawthorne’s Hut is named after the historical owner of the farm it’s installed on in Mudgee, New South Wales, and in a nice touch, incorporates recycled bricks from the remains of his original cottage. The cabin is finished in galvanized steel and wood.

There’s no air-conditioning installed (though there is a ceiling fan), so Cameron Anderson Architects carefully arranged the cabin to ensure large operable windows and doors face south and let in the breeze. The roof, which slopes 30 degrees to the north, hosts a solar panel array that’s hooked up to battery storage and provides all required power. There’s also a rainwater collection system installed that holds 40,000 liters (roughly 10,500 gal) of water. Hiding all this off-grid gear was a major concern, so as not to spoil the overall look of the dwelling.

“Great effort has been taken to conceal services out of sight with large galvanized clad door to the Western facade opening to reveal storage, solar batteries and inverter, electrical board and a gas hot water unit,” explains Cameron Anderson Architects. “The location of services here also provides a heavy buffer to the Western Sun. The project also achieves a BAL 12.5 bushfire rating. The property demonstrates to guests the opportunities of building smaller footprints and incorporating sustainable design elements.”