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 Transportable, Off-Grid Tiny Home Made From Shipping Containers

Stays

Perched on the top of a rocky hill, overlooking the undulating mountains around Mansfield, two 14 square metre shipping containers are not exactly as they seem.

While from the outside this pair look almost identical to others in the area, inside they have been completely transformed into a pair of tiny homes by designer and builder Robbie Walker.

Capturing incredible views towards Mount Buller, Victoria, life in this pair of tiny homes is about as close to nature as it gets!

26th October, 2021
Sally Tabart
Tuesday 26th October 2021

Robbie Walker and his wife Alice first bought this block of land in Mansfield, Victoria, in 2016. While the steep, rocky property was useless to a farmer, the couple saw potential in the incredible views over a gully looking out to Mount Buller, and were able to buy it pretty cheaply with the intention of one day building a family home.

In the meantime, Robbie designed and built a pair of off-grid tiny homes used for friends and family to come and stay, and as short-term accommodation for visitors to unplug and reconnect with the natural world.

For Robbie, using shipping containers as the structure for the tiny homes made sense within the context of the location. ‘All the farmers in Mansfield have containers so when you stand back and look at it, it’s just another container on a block’, he says.

Both self-contained spaces are identical in plan, with a wet area on one end, and an open-plan space featuring fold-down furniture seamlessly integrated into the remaining plywood-lined walls. One of the containers is used as a sleeping quarter, with a double bed and triple bunks that fold down from the wall, plus a bathroom with a flushing toilet and a kitchen. The other functions as a living area, with a fold-out kitchen table, additional double bed, fireplace and bathroom.

Robbie’s uncle, who is an expert in hydraulics, created an elaborate system that allows the entire side of the living container to open up. Part of the wall drops down to become a deck, essentially doubling the usable floor space, while a second layer opens to become an awning.

Staying as true to the original materials as possible, Robbie has lined each of the cabins with plywood, as you would find on the floor of any shipping container, lining the wet areas with an epoxy resin usually used to seal timber boats. ‘If it’s good enough for a boat, it’ll protect the bathroom’, he says.

A few nifty elements allow these shipping containers to operate fully off-grid. A box that sits on the back of the containers house batteries for the solar panels, a hot water unit, generator, gas bottles, and provide extra storage, while a second roof sits above the container roof that catches water and funnels into a water bladder.

Robbie likens the experience of staying in these beautiful, functional tiny homes to camping with protection from the elements and everything you need to be comfortable. The connection to nature is unparalleled!

Book your stay in this incredible tiny home here!

This Week

Christmas Countdown

Stuff Your Stocking With Some Suave Staples + Score 10% Off At Designstuff!

We’ve curated the perfect gifting lineup from the Scandinavian-focussed design store including Ferm Living, Købn and Krof!
Lucy Feagins

News

A Fabulous Fresh Festive Collection From Studio Milligram

Designed in collaboration with artist Jo Dyer, Studio Milligram’s new Christmas collection is inspired by the colours of an Australian sum...
Sponsored

Podcast

Cormach Evans On Creating Space For Aboriginal Excellence, On TDF Talks

In our podcast season finale, Yorta Yorta man Cormach Evans talks to host Lucy Feagins about the two organisations he founded and directs: S...
Sasha Gattermayr
  20 hours ago

Architecture

A Truly Sympathetic Mid-Century Home Renovation

Pop Architecture returned this 1960 mid-century home in Ivanhoe East to its former glory through interior alterations.

Stays

A Secluded Alpine A-Frame In The Kangaroo Valley

At every opportunity the choice is to be unplugged rather than switched on in this architecturally designed accommodation in New South Wales...

On The Market

A Chic Family Home In The Heart Of Fitzroy Is For Sale!

A unique renovated home with crazy paving, double height ceilings and a north-facing backyard in the most tightly held pocket of Fitzroy.

News

These Hand Painted Ceramics Celebrate The Soft Power Of Women

Femme Fantasy is the new 22-piece collaborative collection of painted, ceramic vessels from artist Marisa Mu and ceramicist Alicia McVilly.

Architecture

An Equally Practical + Aspirational Family Home

A transformed St Kilda West home by Lucy Clemenger Architects, that takes advantage of its park-side site.

Interiors

Summer 2022 Colour Trend Predictions + WIN Dulux Paint & A Rachel Castle Artwork!

Get inspired by these vibrant and joyous Dulux paint colours set to take over home interiors this summer. Plus, your chance to win 20 litres...

On The Market

This Eclectic Terrace House Opposite Edinburgh Gardens Is For Sale!

Live opposite Edinburgh Gardens in this Victorian terrace, featuring an architect-designed renovation with sustainable features.

On The Market

A Masterfully Renovated Victorian In Kensington Is For Sale

This four-bedroom Victorian home with an extension by Nicholas Murray Architects has hit the market in Kensington.

Shopping

Greenhouse Interiors Have Transformed This Heritage Warehouse Into A Fully Shoppable Interiors Mega Space!

Julia Green’s latest venture is her most ambitious yet - a completely shoppable interior project spanning 600 square metres and two floors...

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Writer + Fearless Feminist Advocate, Clementine Ford

We spend a day with author, broadcaster and public commentator in the midst of the release of her new book - 'How We Love'.
1.34

One Room Wonders

A Classic, Colourful Kids Room Transformation

We transform a simple baby's bedroom, with Surround by Laminex wall panelling, and a playful injection of colour, pattern and texture!

Homes

An Art Deco-Meets-Warehouse Apartment With A Private Rooftop!

Charlotte Ree's Potts Point apartment is a unique mix of art deco architecture and warehouse features, with one very enviable rooftop!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Tiny Homes

A Tiny Handmade Home Built By A Father-Daughter Duo!

With home ownership out of reach for Camilla Walker, she and her dad Patrick hand-built this tiny one-bedroom home at the bottom of the fami...
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A Self-Built Weekender Cabin

Lucy and Nathan Hersey's tiny off-the-grid retreat, in regional Victoria.

Homes

A Handcrafted Cabin In Gippsland

Interior designer Andrea Moore’s contemporary rural country cabin, nestled in South Gippsland, Victoria.

This Week

News

A Fabulous Fresh Festive Collection From Studio Milligram

Designed in collaboration with artist Jo Dyer, Studio Milligram’s new Christmas collection is inspired by the colours of an Australian sum...
Sponsored

On The Market

This Eclectic Terrace House Opposite Edinburgh Gardens Is For Sale!

Live opposite Edinburgh Gardens in this Victorian terrace, featuring an architect-designed renovation with sustainable features.

On The Market

A Masterfully Renovated Victorian In Kensington Is For Sale

This four-bedroom Victorian home with an extension by Nicholas Murray Architects has hit the market in Kensington.
1.34

One Room Wonders

A Classic, Colourful Kids Room Transformation

We transform a simple baby's bedroom, with Surround by Laminex wall panelling, and a playful injection of colour, pattern and texture!

On The Market

A Chic Family Home In The Heart Of Fitzroy Is For Sale!

A unique renovated home with crazy paving, double height ceilings and a north-facing backyard in the most tightly held pocket of Fitzroy.

Interiors

Summer 2022 Colour Trend Predictions + WIN Dulux Paint & A Rachel Castle Artwork!

Get inspired by these vibrant and joyous Dulux paint colours set to take over home interiors this summer. Plus, your chance to win 20 litres...

Christmas Countdown

Stuff Your Stocking With Some Suave Staples + Score 10% Off At Designstuff!

We’ve curated the perfect gifting lineup from the Scandinavian-focussed design store including Ferm Living, Købn and Krof!
Lucy Feagins

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Writer + Fearless Feminist Advocate, Clementine Ford

We spend a day with author, broadcaster and public commentator in the midst of the release of her new book - 'How We Love'.

Architecture

A Truly Sympathetic Mid-Century Home Renovation

Pop Architecture returned this 1960 mid-century home in Ivanhoe East to its former glory through interior alterations.

Architecture

An Equally Practical + Aspirational Family Home

A transformed St Kilda West home by Lucy Clemenger Architects, that takes advantage of its park-side site.

News

These Hand Painted Ceramics Celebrate The Soft Power Of Women

Femme Fantasy is the new 22-piece collaborative collection of painted, ceramic vessels from artist Marisa Mu and ceramicist Alicia McVilly.

Shopping

Greenhouse Interiors Have Transformed This Heritage Warehouse Into A Fully Shoppable Interiors Mega Space!

Julia Green’s latest venture is her most ambitious yet - a completely shoppable interior project spanning 600 square metres and two floors...

Stays

A Secluded Alpine A-Frame In The Kangaroo Valley

At every opportunity the choice is to be unplugged rather than switched on in this architecturally designed accommodation in New South Wales...

Homes

An Art Deco-Meets-Warehouse Apartment With A Private Rooftop!

Charlotte Ree's Potts Point apartment is a unique mix of art deco architecture and warehouse features, with one very enviable rooftop!

Podcast

Cormach Evans On Creating Space For Aboriginal Excellence, On TDF Talks

In our podcast season finale, Yorta Yorta man Cormach Evans talks to host Lucy Feagins about the two organisations he founded and directs: S...
Sasha Gattermayr
  20 hours ago

Similar Stories

Tiny Homes

A Tiny Handmade Home Built By A Father-Daughter Duo!

Camilla and Patrick Walker hand-built this mini one-bedroom home at the bottom of the family garden.
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A Self-Built Weekender Cabin

Lucy and Nathan Hersey's tiny off-the-grid retreat, in regional Victoria.

Homes

A Handcrafted Cabin In Gippsland

Interior designer Andrea Moore’s contemporary rural country cabin, nestled in South Gippsland, Victoria.

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.