If you think these two buildings resemble old sheds, you’re not wrong—that’s kind of the point.

The 500-square-foot cabin and adjacent shed are 100 percent off-grid, with water, sewer, and electrical systems in place to support these buildings and any future development.

When clients tapped MRTN Architects to design a simple cabin and shed on 300 acres in Victoria, Australia, they were not only seeking a retreat from their busy lives in the city. They also wanted to use the space as a care-taking cottage, where they would get to know the property, as they wanted to build a bigger house on the land in the future.

The team was asked to come up with a design that would “eventually be incorporated into a more permanent home, appear to have weathered with the site, and be of a familiar form when viewed from a distance.”

The clients requested the design of the cabin and shed to appear as if the buildings had been weathering over time with the site.

The clients requested the design of the cabin and shed to appear as if the buildings had been weathering over time with the site.

Courtesy of Antony Martin

After being inspired from existing agricultural outbuildings in the area, the architects conceived the two new buildings as “rural artifacts.” 

“Nostalgia for this connection between land and building was the guiding principle for the Nulla Vale House and Shed,” the team explains.



The 500-square-foot cabin and adjacent shed are 100 percent off-grid, with water, sewer, and electrical systems in place to support these buildings and any future development.

The 500-square-foot cabin and adjacent shed are 100 percent off-grid, with water, sewer, and electrical systems in place to support these buildings and any future development.

Courtesy of Antony Martin

The exterior combines recycled brick, radial sawn timber, and galvanized roof sheeting. "Materials were selected to meet the clients’ brief that the house fit within the cognitive idea of an old shed," explain the architects.

The exterior combines recycled brick, radial sawn timber, and galvanized roof sheeting. “Materials were selected to meet the clients’ brief that the house fit within the cognitive idea of an old shed,” explain the architects.

Courtesy of Antony Martin

See the full story on Dwell.com: Simplicity Reigns at This Off-Grid Australian Retreat

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