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An A-Frame On The Top Of The World

Architecture

It’s hard to imagine that the first iPhone was only released 11 years ago. With all elements of our modern lives becoming increasingly reliant on handheld computers over the past decade, these days it’s almost impossible to completely disengage with technology.

JR’s Hut is one of the few places in Australia where this is possible, and in fact, mandatory. At the very top of a hill within the 7,000-acre Kimo Estate sits the modest A-Frame structure, specifically designed to encourage visitors to disconnect with the digital and be truly immersed in the natural world.

With views like these, we’d (almost) consider shutting down our iPhones for good.

4th July, 2018

JR’s Hut is situated atop the Kimo Estate, a 7,000-acre property in Gundagai, New South Wales. Photo – Hilary Bradford.

A collaboration between Anthony Hunt Design and Luke Stanley Architects, the entire cabin comes in at a tiny 28-square-metres! Photo – Hilary Bradford.

All materials had to be locally sourced due to the eco-friendly principles of JR’s Hut and its remote location. Photo – Hilary Bradford.

The cabin is ‘off-the-grid’ and is intended to encourage visitors to disconnect from the digital world. Photo – Hilary Bradford.

Sustainably sourced Australian hardwood such as Silvertop Ash and Blackbutt was sourced locally and used for cladding internally and externally. Photo – Hilary Bradford.

The cabin was constructed by a two-person team. Photo – Hilary Bradford.

The A-Frame style reflects a tradition tent shape, ‘which simultaneously provides both refuge from, and connection with, the natural environment.’ Photo – Hilary Bradford.

Interior cabin details. Photo – Hilary Bradford.

The ‘A’ frame form of the hut was also chosen for its ability to cope with the exposed environment. Photo – Hilary Bradford.

Not a bad way to wake up! Photo – Hilary Bradford.

Views from the shower area. Photo – Hilary Bradford.

The remote location and total dearth of electricity makes for incredible stargazing! Photo – Hilary Bradford.

Sally Tabart
Wednesday 4th July 2018

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!

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net