Situated smack bang between Melbourne and Sydney in Gundagai, New South Wales (a five hour and four hour drive from each city respectively), JR’s Hut is part of Kimo Estate, a second-generation working sheep and cattle farm that moonlights as a picturesque wedding destination.
A collaborative project between Luke Stanley Architects and Anthony Hunt Design, the property owners initially approached the architect-designer team to create a contemporary, environmentally friendly dwelling. Coming in at a teeny-tiny 28-square-metres, JR’s Hut is built with sustainable principles at its core. Inspired by a classic A-frame tent, the humble hut has only the basics – and definitely no electricity – only a small solar panel with batteries to run low-voltage lighting. A wood burner fireplace keeps the glass-flanked structure toasty, and the space has on-site treatment for sewage and collects rain water with tank storage. ‘The hut was designed to maximise passive solar gain and cross ventilation,’ explains Luke Stanley, one half of the team behind the environmentally-conscious project.
With sweeping views over the magnificent Kimo valley and Murrumbidgee River flats occupying almost every angle, the structure allows visitors to be shielded from the exposed conditions while simultaneously feeling immersed in the environment. You really do have your head in the clouds!
Construction in this remote location came with some logistical challenges, and all materials needed to be sourced locally and handled on site by a two person owner-builder team. Sustainably sourced Australian hardwood such as Silvertop Ash and Blackbutt was used for cladding internally and externally, and roofing is metal sheeting on an exposed hardwood structure. ‘All of these [materials] could be easily dismantled for reuse or recycling,’ explains Luke.
It’s funny (I say ‘funny’ rather than ‘scary’ to avoid complete pessimism) how reluctant most of us are to be without our digital appendages. But when you think about those rare times you accidentally leave your phone at home for the entire day, after the initial pang of dread comes a profound sense of calm. It feels good to be unreachable, if only for a little while. And there’s nowhere better to drop off the radar for a while, than JR’s Hut.
Up for the challenge of taking technology out of the equation? You can rent out JR’s Hut for a cosy weekend away here!