This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Farmer’s Tiny Copper-Clad Getaway!

Architecture

Casey Brown Architecture completed ‘Permanent Camping’ in 2007 – a pint-sized, copper-clad retreat on a Mudgee property.

A farmer took note of the project, and dreamt he’d one day have a similar cabin of his own. 13 years later, that dream became a reality.  

Located in Berry, Permanent Camping II is a modified version of the original design created with the same collaborator, Jeffrey Broadfield, alongside local builder, Smith and Primmer

18th May, 2021

 ‘Permanent Camping Two’ comprises two tiny copper towers looking out to the ocean in Berry, NSW. Photo – Andrew Loiterton

The cabin is a new and improved version of a 2007 project in Mudgee by Casey Brown Architecture. Photos – Andrew Loiterton

The architects describe it as a retreat with ‘everything you need and nothing you don’t need.’ Photo – Andrew Loiterton

Internally the structure is crafted in ironbark with a wood burning fireplace, copper kitchen basin and under floor storage. Photos – Andrew Loiterton

Integral to both the new and original design are three external ‘flaps’ that protect the structure. Photo – Andrew Loiterton

Amelia Barnes
Tuesday 18th May 2021

‘A retreat with everything you need, and nothing you don’t need.’ – Casey Brown Architecture

If you’re a longtime reader of design media, this tiny rural retreat may look familiar.  Originally designed by Casey Brown Architecture in Mudgee in 2007, the practice recently designed an updated version of the copper cabin in Berry, on the South Coast on NSW. 

Like its predecessor, the structure is a simple retreat for the owner, whose main house is located on the same acreage. The architects describe it as a retreat with ‘everything you need and nothing you don’t need.’

The new project began by studying the original to see what improvements could be made. ‘The challenge [was] to try and improve on the original design without overcomplicating or taking away from the simplicity of the concept,’ says Rob Brown, director of Casey Brown Architecture. 

While its predecessor was contained to the one structure, the updated concept incorporates a secondary tower immediately to the rear enclosing a composting toilet and shower. East and west-facing outdoor decks have also been added, effectively doubling the ground floor in the process. 

At 3 x 3 metres, the size of the main structure remains the same. On the ground floor is the living space (including facilities to cook, store items, and heat the cabin), while the bedroom is located above (accessible via a ladder). The rooftop with a water tank and solar panels is accessible via an external permanent copper ladder. 

Integral to both the new and original design are three external ‘flaps’ that protect the structure. Rob explains, ‘Permanent Camping Two has movable ‘flaps’ that hinge up when the building is in use, and lower down when not in use, protecting the oiled ironbark interiors from sun, rain and wind…The inspiration was always a flower; how it opens up to the daytime sunshine, yet closes up at night to protect the delicate interior of the flower.’ 

Also returning to the project was craftsman Jeffrey Broadfield, who built the original Mudgee structure. Working with Smith and Primmer, the new building was prefabricated in a barn on site, before being erected on a nearby hill. 

Located some 500 metres from the main house, the cabin is only accessible on foot through paddocks. Its function is only revealed on close inspection as the sides open up and the service tower behind becomes obvious.

Call it what you will – a getaway, a cabin, a retreat, or a permanent tent – Permanent Camping Two is a refined (yet modest!) place to get close to nature, and enjoy simple living. 

This Week

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.
Amelia Barnes
  2 hours ago

Homes

A Melbourne Family’s Ever Changing ‘Light House’

An innovative, sculptural screen invites dynamic shadows into the family home of Andrew Jaques, and Christina Chiodo, renovated by Layan.

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

News

An Exhibition Of Abstract, Thought-Provoking Pieces Is On Now At Heide

See a line-up of abstract works exploring negative space and time, featuring leading Australians and world-famous artists like Anish Kapoor!...
Sponsored

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Shopping

11 Of The Best Places To Score Vintage Furniture + Homewares

Hunting down everything from 70s modular sofas, to retro gems from Europe, see the 11 vintage sellers and stores we love!
Christina Karras

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Kate Reid, Founder Of Lune Croissanterie

A peek into the inner workings of Lune's ‘croissant Formula One team’ - and what this impressive entrepreneur gets up to in a day!
Christina Karras

Shopping

These Deliciously Colourful Picnic Rugs Are Made From Recycled Plastic!

The season of picnicking has arrived, and we've found the best rugs to see you through pizzas in the park and fish and chips on the beach.

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Designer Creating Clever Furniture, For Small Spaces

Meet designer Katrina Ramm of Ka Ra Studio, who's playful pieces that that make the most of the ‘precious space’ inside our homes!
Christina Karras

News

Don't Miss Major Discounts On Designer Furniture At DOMO's Black Friday Sale!

Here’s everything you need to know about DOMO’s Black Friday Sale, with 20% off iconic designer brands, for one day only!
Sponsored

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!
Bea Taylor
  10 hours ago

Stays

An Architect’s Handcrafted Home + Bathhouse Turned Unique Accommodation

Take a look inside Liptrap Loft—a one-of-a-kind cabin with a Japanese-inspired bathhouse in Walkerville, Victoria.

Design Eye

Architect Luke Fry, On Modernising A Heritage Home

Architect Luke Fry shares his advice on sensitively balancing old and new, when modernising a heritage home!

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A New Kitchen Designed To Look Old, With No White Joinery In Sight!

A Reservoir, Melbourne kitchen with the look of the past and functionality of the present.

Similar Stories

Architecture

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

FABPREFAB have teamed up with TRIAS to create Minima – a series of prefabricated, small dwellings suitable as home offices, living spaces,...

Architecture

A Tiny Barn Addition To A Coastal Family Home

See inside this creative extension of a NSW Central Coast family home by Fabric Architecture.

Architecture

An A-Frame On The Top Of The World

A tiny, off-the-grid cabin in rural New South Wales with breathtaking views across the Murrumbidgee River flats and Kimo valley.

This Week

Homes

A Melbourne Family’s Ever Changing ‘Light House’

An innovative, sculptural screen invites dynamic shadows into the family home of Andrew Jaques, and Christina Chiodo, renovated by Layan.

Studio Visit

The Melbourne Designer Creating Clever Furniture, For Small Spaces

Meet designer Katrina Ramm of Ka Ra Studio, who's playful pieces that that make the most of the ‘precious space’ inside our homes!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.
Amelia Barnes
  2 hours ago

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!
Bea Taylor
  10 hours ago

News

An Exhibition Of Abstract, Thought-Provoking Pieces Is On Now At Heide

See a line-up of abstract works exploring negative space and time, featuring leading Australians and world-famous artists like Anish Kapoor!...
Sponsored

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A New Kitchen Designed To Look Old, With No White Joinery In Sight!

A Reservoir, Melbourne kitchen with the look of the past and functionality of the present.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Kate Reid, Founder Of Lune Croissanterie

A peek into the inner workings of Lune's ‘croissant Formula One team’ - and what this impressive entrepreneur gets up to in a day!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

Shopping

11 Of The Best Places To Score Vintage Furniture + Homewares

Hunting down everything from 70s modular sofas, to retro gems from Europe, see the 11 vintage sellers and stores we love!
Christina Karras

News

Don't Miss Major Discounts On Designer Furniture At DOMO's Black Friday Sale!

Here’s everything you need to know about DOMO’s Black Friday Sale, with 20% off iconic designer brands, for one day only!
Sponsored

Design Eye

Architect Luke Fry, On Modernising A Heritage Home

Architect Luke Fry shares his advice on sensitively balancing old and new, when modernising a heritage home!

Stays

An Architect’s Handcrafted Home + Bathhouse Turned Unique Accommodation

Take a look inside Liptrap Loft—a one-of-a-kind cabin with a Japanese-inspired bathhouse in Walkerville, Victoria.

Shopping

These Deliciously Colourful Picnic Rugs Are Made From Recycled Plastic!

The season of picnicking has arrived, and we've found the best rugs to see you through pizzas in the park and fish and chips on the beach.

Similar Stories

Architecture

The Architect-Designed, Prefabricated Tiny House Of The Future

Introducing Minima – a series of prefabricated, small dwellings suitable as home offices, living spaces, bedrooms, or entire tiny houses.

Architecture

A Tiny Barn Addition To A Coastal Family Home

A creative extension to a NSW Central Coast family home by Fabric Architecture.

Architecture

An A-Frame On The Top Of The World

A tiny, off-the-grid cabin in rural New South Wales with breathtaking views across the Murrumbidgee River flats and Kimo valley.

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