A Transportable Off-Grid Dwelling On A Breathtaking Tasman Peninsula Site

A strict brief led to the design of this unique Tasman Peninsula dwelling containing the communal dining, cooking, and bathing facilities for a campsite.

The building needed to operate off-grid and be transportable, while minimising site disturbance and waste, and being visually connected to the landscape.

The dwelling’s form, materials, and siting were moulded by these requirements, resulting in a prefabricated building to be shipped and installed on site.

Architect Saxon Hall says the project would not have been possible without the expertise of the lead contractor, Spacecube, who had previously developed and tested a pre-engineered transportable design system in Tasmania.

Saxon combined Spacecube’s expertise in commercial transportable systems, with foundation technology by Mega Anchor, to create the sustainable dwelling.

Saxon explains, ‘Mega Anchor foundations reduce the need for costly excavation and drainage on sloping sites, preventing erosion and allowing the structure to be built in accordance with the land’s natural contour.

‘The contemporary footing system minimises site disturbance, halves construction time, and can be removed and reused at the end of its life cycle.’

Construction of the building was completed offsite in Victoria over four months then transported to Tasmania and craned onto site.

The building itself was installed in just two days, overcoming complex access conditions, landslip areas, biodiversity overlays, bushfire zones, and more.

The associated deck and other built elements were completed in four to six weeks as weather allowed.

‘I recall several site visits struggling to find where the team was onsite, only to find them huddled in one of the tents seeking shelter from a southerly squall that was sometimes occurring every hour, typical of Tasmanian winter weather patterns!’ says Saxon.

Western red cedar cladding was selected for its durable and stable properties. ‘Even without applying a layer of protective coating, this wood is still exceptionally durable because of the natural chemicals found in the timber,’ says Saxon.

‘It helps prevent moisture from damaging and breaking down the wood in a highly vulnerable and weather-stricken part of the world.

Inside, the view is the hero, framed by floor-to-ceiling windows that capture the dramatic sea cliff and water views.

Solar power supported by a battery and micro-flush toilets enables the building to operate off-grid.

Saxon is most proud of how the building lightly touches the natural ground, avoiding the ‘harsh scalping of the landscape’ associated with conventional construction.

The client now has both an admirable design solution for the present, and a desirable asset that can be unbolted, relocated, and reused in future.

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