Bruny Island Cabin an off-grid retreat set on 99 acres of land located in Tasmania, Australia. Maguire + Devin created the cabin for their client whom spent her childhood in traditional Japanese houses. Out of this grew a love for highly crafted minimalist design. The studio’s brief was to capture the essence of minimalist design and create a building as a piece of furniture with everything she needs built-in.
The cabin’s owner likes to read, play the violin and stargaze, so shelves and outdoor spots were prioritised in the design. Rainwater collection held in underground tanks supplies the cabin’s water, and solar panels generate electricity.
A wood-fired burner can be lit to provide warmth, and bottled gas heats water and powers the cooker. Gas bottles and firewood are kept in a separate timber shelter further up the slope, which doubles as a privacy screen. No windows face the dark tree line of the forest behind the house, and the roof is pitched to slope upwards and away towards the southern side of the site.
Most of the windows face south towards more open views. Skylights in the roof are angled to catch sunlight where it can reach over the trees. Bruny Island Cabin is flanked by two decks, one to the east and one to the west. They are used to enjoy the sunrise and sunset, respectively.
The west deck has a sunken outdoor bathtub under removable decking panels.
Both these decks can only be reached from inside the cabin. Sliding doors provide access and when both are pushed back they form one platform that runs through the cabin.
The decks are set low enough against the sloping site not to require a balustrade, and people can sit on the edge of the deck and look out over the landscape. A secret door opens from the bathroom onto the entry deck, turning the shower into a semi-open-air bathing spot. It also lets the bathroom turn into a wetroom if people come back from a camping trip covered in mud. The exterior of the cabin is clad in panels of zincalume metal and bushfire-resistant timber to comply with local bushfire safety rules.