This tiny house on a working farm in regional NSW only fits 2 people – and it’s completely off-grid

This tiny house on a working farm in regional NSW only fits 2 people – and it’s completely off-grid
  • This corrugated iron and cement hut sits on a paddock on a working farm in Mudgee in regional NSW.
  • Designed by Cameron Anderson Architects, it was designed to be self-sustaining with a solar-powered roof and rainwater tanks.
  • “We’re challenging the conventional way of building on a farm,” Anderson told Business Insider Australia.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Designed by Cameron Anderson architects, which works mostly on regional projects, this tiny house can be rented on AirBnb and sits on a working rural property 10 minutes from the centre of Mudgee.

Gawthorne’s Hut, named after the historical owner of the property, Benjamin Gawthorne, still retains bricks from the original cottage.

“The premise of the brief was to obviously create a small luxury tourism experience that represented or responded to the history and the context of the site,” said Cameron Anderson, the lead architect for the project.

The off-grid escape was designed to be self sustaining and technology-free

“It was only ever going to be a small building. And because of where we were located, it had to be off grid,” Rick and Steph Gordon, who run the property and farm in Mudgee, told Business Insider Australia. 

They said the hut was designed specifically as an escape from modern life. “People lead very busy lives and their lives can be quite complicated and noisy and full of technology and things like that,” Steph Gordon said. 

“We wanted a space where they could come and relax. If they don’t want to go anywhere, they don’t have to go anywhere, they can stay, they’re completely self contained.”

The architects were inspired by the property’s history and other buildings on the site

The angled, galvanised steel-clad shell of the hut, one side of which is also the roof, and the timber-lined interior reference the hay sheds on the property, including one that was destroyed by a storm in 2017.

The angled roof is both a reference to the relic of the existing shed, as well as a way to accommodate solar panels that stretch across the building. 

The solar panels were built into the design of the structure, Anderson said, and were part of the reason the north-facing roof was designed to replace a wall of the building.

The angled form also frames the valley views to the east, Anderson explained. 

“The size of the building really came from the desire to get the solar panels on that north northeast roof so that we didn’t have them out in the paddock,” he said of the tiny house.

“Therefore we made the decision that there was going to be a really strong roof element and, essentially, one of the walls became a roof.

“It’s also about the economy, which is a very rural way of building as well.”

Along with the solar panels, sustainability features include rainwater storage, a thermal mass concrete floor that retains heat and double glazed windows

“It’s entirely off grid,” Anderson said of the tiny house.

“We were looking at it from the point of view of utilising a small amount of land to create something more sustainable, and a reliable income for a rural property.”

The architect, who is also based in regional NSW, has a design philosophy around applying sustainable design features to rural builds

“I work mainly in the country,” Anderson said. “In regional New South Wales, we’re really interested in contemporary interpretations of rural buildings.

“We’re always really interested in looking at the history of a site or of a region. And for a building to have a story as well. 

“It’s the only way you really get the individual responses to kind of analyse those things carefully and then let that drive the design concept.”

Anderson said more and more architecture in regional Australia was being driven by architects exploring how they could integrate sustainability features and modern design into rural landscapes. 

“We’re challenging the conventional way of building on a farm,” he said.