News Home & Design 'Permanent Camping' Cabin Opens to Embrace Air and Sun This copper-clad structure is half-cabin, half-tent. 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 March 24, 2022 12:35PM 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 Casey Brown Architecture News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Whether you're a novice or an experienced adventurer, camping is a great way to reconnect with the great outdoors and can run the gamut from car camping, urban camping, glamorous camping (also known as glamping), and even winter camping (brr). Whatever form it may take, camping is one way to enjoy nature on nature's terms, usually for a short period of time. Australian firm Casey Brown Architecture puts another spin on the notion of camping though, with their recent realization of a copper-clad cabin that has been dubbed Permanent Camping II. More cabin than a tent, as it's certainly more enduring than a mere tent, yet similarly, the structure is designed to open up significantly, and to sit lightly on the land. Casey Brown Architecture Built for a nature-loving couple who wanted to build a simple but functional retreat on a site that overlooks the rolling hills and the Pacific Ocean beyond, the idea was to furnish this permanent "tent" with the basics, and nothing more. As the architects explain: "[Permanent Camping II is] designed to provide the essential requirements for shelter, a bed, a porch or deck, a fire place and a bathroom. A retreat with ‘everything you need and nothing you don’t need’ with the demands of living distilled to the bare essentials. [It is] a getaway, a permanent tent, a place to enjoy nature and simple living, protected when not in use from the harsh elements by a fully enclosing copper skin, only opened when in use. This ensures the finely crafted iron bark interior avoids the ravages of the Australian sun." Casey Brown Architecture The cabin is located on the couple's property and is only accessible by foot from their main residence about a third of a mile (500 meters) away. Designed as a conglomeration of two towers, the cabin's overall footprint measures a compact 9.8 feet by 9.8 feet (3 meters by 3 meters) and encapsulates only the essentials: a bed, bathroom, kitchen, fireplace, and porch. Casey Brown Architecture The taller tower holds the main living space on the ground level, while the bedroom sits above on the second level, and can be accessed via a ladder. Casey Brown Architecture On the other side of the cabin's wooden deck, we find the smaller tower, which holds the bathroom, composting toilet, water tank, and rainwater harvesting system. Casey Brown Architecture The cabin is really like a minimalist engineer's dream: There are these huge copper panels on three sides that can be manually opened up by way of mechanical winches, freeing the interior up to the great outdoors, while at the same time providing some extra shade for sitting out on the wooden decks—one deck extending out to each side—one for morning use, one for the afternoon. These decks are made out of recycled ironbark wood from a disused wharf, adding an extra element of sustainable reuse to the project. Casey Brown Architecture The interior is lovely with its bare-bones aesthetic of wooden planks and cross bracing, offset with a modern-looking woodstove and translucent shuttering system. Casey Brown Architecture Furniture has been kept to a minimum; even the coffee table sits low here in order to not clog up the room. There is enough space here to sit, soak in the view, or to contemplate the fire. Casey Brown Architecture The kitchen is equally simple: a sink, and some shelving for storing things like a kettle, cups and bowls. Nothing more, nothing less. Casey Brown Architecture The bedroom upstairs is just as simple with a bed, and the metal flue coming up from the woodstove to heat the space. Casey Brown Architecture Over in the other sister tower, the outdoor shower-equipped bathroom has been simply constructed, with a live edge wooden platform used for the composting toilet. Casey Brown Architecture Outside, one can access the roof via the custom-made ladder made out of copper piping. According to the firm, this metal ladder also acts as a "lightning conductor." The solar panels are on the roof and help to power the cabin's lights. Casey Brown Architecture One can see the pipes from the taller tower that harvest precious rainwater from the roof, which is then channeled over to the water tank by the force of gravity. Casey Brown Architecture Like a giant sculpture that embraces the air and sun, one can imagine the copper structure eventually weathering to a beautiful green patina that will blend in beautifully with the landscape. To see more, visit Casey Brown Architecture.