News Home & Design Contemporary Off-Grid Hut Built as a 'Luxe-Country' Farm Guesthouse This modern farm accommodation runs on solar power and harvested rainwater. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Updated September 1, 2021 04:18PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Amber Creative News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive The trend of glamorous camping (or so-called "glamping") continues to be quite popular, especially when it comes to combining a much-needed getaway with some quality time spent in nature. In the picturesque farming and wine-producing region of Mudgee, in the Australian state of New South Wales, local firm Cameron Anderson Architects recreated a modern take on a formerly existing farming hut. It's now being rented out by the family farm's third-generation owners as a "luxe-country" accommodation. Dubbed Gawthorne's Hut, the structure sports a distinctively sloped roof that is informed by the forms of the more traditional-looking hay sheds and masonry farm buildings that can be found on the Wilgowrah farm and nearby. We get a quick tour of the restful interior via Never Too Small: Amber Creative The north-facing roof of this modernized hut is outfitted with solar panels (recall that this is in the southern hemisphere, so the best solar orientation is actually north in this case), and its orientation on the site maximizes solar energy production, while also prioritizing stunning views out to the east and south. The exterior is clad with utilitarian materials like galvanized steel and wood, which stand up to the warm summers and cold winters of Mudgee's temperate climate. Never Too Small The hut is named after the early tenant farmers of Wilgowrah, as architect Cameron Anderson explains on The Mudgee Guardian: "With this one—the way we try and approach these buildings is for them to have a story essentially, and to have a relationship to their site. And so some of the conversations that we started having very early on ... were more about the history of the Wilgowrah site as a working property and to see if some of that history can be retained within the accommodation experience." Amber Creative This new architectural iteration is located near the original Gawthorne's Hut, which was destroyed a few years ago. The old structure was also a source of design inspiration, says Anderson. "One thing that drove that a little bit was—when we had that big storm a few years ago, when Mudgee got hit, they had a significant hay shed on their property that was knocked over. And it became one of the talking points in the region about the damage that was done—and so that angled form, in a way, was something that was loosely driven from that, as well as a starting point for a solar array on the roof." Amber Creative Inside the 430-square-foot cabin, a simple but striking palette of materials are employed: caramel-colored Australian blackbutt plywood walls and ceiling, combined with a polished concrete slab that provides thermal mass and "grounds" the project, plus earthy brick recycled from an old chimney and slate-colored tiles in the bathroom. Amber Creative The layout is a simple open plan concept that is split into two zones: a bathing area and enclosed toilet room on one side, and on the other side of a partial wall made of that salvaged brick, there is the living area comprising of the kitchen, dining, and sleeping area. Never Too Small A deliberate decision was made not to have air conditioning. Instead, we have a ceiling fan, as well as operable windows or doors on all sides to maximize natural cross-ventilation. Never Too Small The cabin has a rainwater collection system that can collect about 10,500 gallons (40,000 liters), half of which is dedicated to fighting bushfires in this blaze-prone region. The architects say: "Great effort has been taken to conceal services out of sight with [a] large galvanized clad door to the western facade opening to reveal storage, solar batteries and inverter, electrical board, and a gas hot water unit. The location of services here also provides a heavy buffer to the western sun. The project achieves a BAL 12.5 bushfire rating. The property demonstrates to guests the opportunities of building smaller footprints and incorporating sustainable design elements." Never Too Small By hiring an architect to create this understated but sleekly elegant guest accommodation, the farm can now diversify its offerings, says owner Steph Gordon. "[The project] creates an income stream that [is] more sustainable than cattle grazing on that piece of land. The farm's into its third generation. We feel that we're setting our farm up as a more profitable business to ensure the continuity of family ownership." To see more, visit Cameron Anderson Architects; to book a stay at Gawthorne's Hut, visit Airbnb.