The Huch Cabin Project Brief

An off-grid cabin, tucked away in the Hunter Valley, Huch was designed with specific architectural intent to address the brief of sustainability and style while providing a luxury escape to the country.

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The cabin project was to be reproducible. Manufactured in a workshop and transported to site for final installation at various locations. With complex construction restraints around weight, transport, functionality and cost, the Huch Cabin was meticulously detailed through an intensive research and design process.

An off-grid shelter that incorporates solar panels and battery storage, rainwater harvesting, cross ventilation, and a demountable and modular design, Huch is designed to be respectful to the environment while offering the opportunity to be immersed in it. Accommodating up to a family of four, it is the perfect getaway to relax and take in the fresh air.

Videographer: Alexandra Adoncello

Our Approach

We approached this project the same as any other project, with attention to detail at the preliminary stages to ensure the project runs as smoothly as possible. An acute awareness of the reduced scale of the project was required to ensure a cohesive and flowing final outcome.

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We were provided with an aluminium shell, and a trailer essentially, and were tasked with the fit out of the rest of the design. Minimal tolerances and specific design details meant that everything was custom measured and ordered to a specific size and dimension. Everything was triple-checked and made to order.

A conservative approach was taken with team management. The small amount of work involved in individual tasks meant that a larger team on site would risk overlooking finer details, often only one team member working on site.

Obstacles that we overcame

This project was an exciting challenge for all involved. The opportunity to test ourselves and produce a premium finished product within a confined space was one we took on with anticipation.

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The original intent was for a lightweight construction, dismantle, tow to site and re-construction at the final destination. But the client made the call, for cost benefits, to transport the cabin on the back of a truck, which left a little more flexibility in weight restrictions. We were then able to completely fit off and commission the cabin before it was sent on its 6-hour journey to Wollombi in the Hunter Valley.

The Cabin build carried through the peak of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This presented the biggest challenge of all. Delays in the supply of materials as well as contractors outside of our LGA meant that the build time blew out by a number of months. However, with understanding clients and a focus on the finished project quality, rather than date, we were able to manage the build and send it on it’s way before Christmas 2021.

What we would do differently

We carried out the build of the cabin on a property, graciously provided to us free of charge, located outside of our typical range of works. This presented logistical difficulties considering the constant management of the build. If we were to do another, it would need to be inside a workshop, close to our office. This way, the program would be unaffected by weather and could be monitored closely without disruption to the rest of the business.

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Once the decision was made to transport the cabin on a truck, rather than tow, weight was less of a priority than at the outset, let alone, weight distribution. The project was built on standing blocks to maintain an even and controlled level for the build, but once it was lowered onto the wheels, it was evident that the cabin was quite rear end heavy. This wasn’t a concern for the final resting place, however, it did present some additional challenges getting the cabin on the truck and moving it around on site. This would definitely be a consideration for future builds.