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!

Tiny Homes

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

Architecture

An Architect’s Reworking Of Sir Roy Grounds’ Former Balmain Home

A heritage 1970s house in Balmain once owned by Sir Roy Grounds has been its re-engineered by its present owner, architect Conrad Johnston o...

News

Cute Handmade Aprons For Tiny Chefs!

Little Linens sell patterned aprons designed, printed and hand-sewn from a kitchen table in Melbourne!
Sasha Aarons

Shopping

Seven Local Kids Design Brands We Can’t Get Enough Of!

Seven of our favourite local kids brands, and where to find them!
Amelia Barnes
  2 hours ago

Gardens

Three Trees + A Pool - The Love Story Of A Wild-Looking, Natural Garden

Mcnuttndorff Landscapes tamed this rambling Fairfield garden around a new pool and three majestic eucalypts!

Creative People

Andalusian-Inspired Lampshades, Handwoven In Sydney

Lana Launay makes her textured light covers from natural materials such as coffee-stained raffia, coconut shell rope and bamboo yarn.
2.02

Art en Route

A Visit to the Blue Mountains with Jono Fleming, and Ford Puma

Sydney stylist Jono Fleming is our tour guide for a dreamy day trip to the Blue Mountains, in the new Ford Puma!
Lucy Feagins
  10 hours ago

Homes

An Interior Designer’s Mini Converted Warehouse That Feels Like Home

In past lives, this little converted warehouse in Fitzroy has been a secret bar and a photographic studio. Now, it’s the charming rental h...

Art

The Secret Mystical Paintings of International Art Sensation, Hilma af Klint

The visionary Swedish artist’s enormous colourful artworks were hidden from the world for decades. Now, they are on show at Art Gallery of...

Architecture

An Architecture Power Couple’s Extraordinary Concrete Home

Inside 'La Scala’ – the contemporary, concrete Brisbane home of architects Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence, co-founders of Richards an...

News

Laminex Extend Their Epic Colour Collection With These On-Trend Hues

The heritage Australian company adds seventeen new ‘decors’ to its offering, including warm earthy shades, stone-look textures + woodgra...
Sponsored

Interiors

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Interior Designer

What does an interior designer do, and how much does a residential project cost? Here's everything you need to know, with info from leading

Interiors

A Peaceful, Pastel Transformation Of A Petite Art Deco Apartment

Rosanna Ceravolo creates a new, sympathetic interior personality for a two-bedroom flat in the leafy suburb of South Yarra.

Shopping

The Aboriginal-Owned Homewares Brand Bringing First Nations Art To Homes + Classrooms Across Australia!

Bundjalung/Minjungbal woman Emma Rolls of Emro Designs shares her collection of rugs, cushions and soon-to-be-released picnic mats featuring...

Architecture

A Bushy Family Home That Brings The Outdoors In

You'd never know that this clever home by Anthrosite Architects shields its occupants from a busy motorway on one side of the house.

Gardens

A Vacant Cow Paddock Turned Relaxed Australian Country Garden

Weeds and camphor are replaced by lush natives, a veggie garden and a hilltop plunge pool in this country garden by Fig Landscapes.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Tiny Homes

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

Architecture

An Architecture Power Couple’s Extraordinary Concrete Home

Inside 'La Scala’ – the contemporary, concrete Brisbane home of architects Ingrid Richards and Adrian Spence, co-founders of Richards an...

Gardens

A Vacant Cow Paddock Turned Relaxed Australian Country Garden

Weeds and camphor are replaced by lush natives, a veggie garden and a hilltop plunge pool in this country garden by Fig Landscapes.

Art

The Secret Mystical Paintings of International Art Sensation, Hilma af Klint

The visionary Swedish artist’s enormous colourful artworks were hidden from the world for decades. Now, they are on show at Art Gallery of...

News

Cute Handmade Aprons For Tiny Chefs!

Little Linens sell patterned aprons designed, printed and hand-sewn from a kitchen table in Melbourne!
Sasha Aarons

Architecture

A Bushy Family Home That Brings The Outdoors In

You'd never know that this clever home by Anthrosite Architects shields its occupants from a busy motorway on one side of the house.

News

Laminex Extend Their Epic Colour Collection With These On-Trend Hues

The heritage Australian company adds seventeen new ‘decors’ to its offering, including warm earthy shades, stone-look textures + woodgra...
Sponsored

Interiors

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Interior Designer

What does an interior designer do, and how much does a residential project cost? Here's everything you need to know, with info from leading

Shopping

The Aboriginal-Owned Homewares Brand Bringing First Nations Art To Homes + Classrooms Across Australia!

Bundjalung/Minjungbal woman Emma Rolls of Emro Designs shares her collection of rugs, cushions and soon-to-be-released picnic mats featuring...
2.02

Art en Route

A Visit to the Blue Mountains with Jono Fleming, and Ford Puma

Sydney stylist Jono Fleming is our tour guide for a dreamy day trip to the Blue Mountains, in the new Ford Puma!
Lucy Feagins
  10 hours ago

Homes

An Interior Designer’s Mini Converted Warehouse That Feels Like Home

In past lives, this little converted warehouse in Fitzroy has been a secret bar and a photographic studio. Now, it’s the charming rental h...

Shopping

Seven Local Kids Design Brands We Can’t Get Enough Of!

Seven of our favourite local kids brands, and where to find them!
Amelia Barnes
  2 hours ago

Gardens

Three Trees + A Pool - The Love Story Of A Wild-Looking, Natural Garden

Mcnuttndorff Landscapes tamed this rambling Fairfield garden around a new pool and three majestic eucalypts!

Creative People

Andalusian-Inspired Lampshades, Handwoven In Sydney

Lana Launay makes her textured light covers from natural materials such as coffee-stained raffia, coconut shell rope and bamboo yarn.

Interiors

A Peaceful, Pastel Transformation Of A Petite Art Deco Apartment

Rosanna Ceravolo creates a new, sympathetic interior personality for a two-bedroom flat in the leafy suburb of South Yarra.

Architecture

An Architect’s Reworking Of Sir Roy Grounds’ Former Balmain Home

A heritage 1970s house in Balmain once owned by Sir Roy Grounds has been its re-engineered by its present owner, architect Conrad Johnston o...

Similar Stories

Tiny Homes

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.