Tiny House In The Outback


Once upon a time, I lived in Australia for a while, the thing that  remember so clearly is how big the country is and how much space is available.  The country is the size of the US, with a population well under 25 million, where 80% of that population lives within 50 miles of the coast, this means that the interior of the continent is very very empty.  There is a strong sense of quasi cowboy feel to being in the outback, where I lived while I was there.  This house not only captures that sense of the rough and tumble of the bush, but is sustainable too.  In an odd way this prefab structure has a turret feel, almost medieval.

prefab shelter

This prefabricated structure is sited in an isolated mountainous of Australia. Sheathed in copper, the 10×10 foot building closes down to protect it from brush fire, as well as precipitation. The project also manipulates the elements by employing passive heating and cooling techniques and a water collection cistern (which provides running water).

This small building is an excellent example of contemporary modernism. Formally, it responds to the environment while maintaining a rigorously simple geometric composition. Responding to building technology methods, economy, and siting issues, the unit is completely prefabricated and installed on the site.

From: Casey Brown Architecture


Water catchment system

Water catchment system


  1. Yes, this is a great little project, but hardly Outback Australia… Tis in Mudgee, only drive 4hr inland.

  2. Definitely a very beautiful project. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before and I love it. I’m with David on the location.

  3. Beautiful Architecture! Nomade project…

  4. Sheathed in copper? I seriously doubt it! Copper is very soft, very heavy – especially in any structural gauge suitable for building, and far too expensive no matter how small the home may be. At today’s copper prices someone would probably ripoff the siding and sell it for premium cash – forget about copper wire or any of the plumbing that may be done with copper: far too much trouble stealing than the siding. In fact, as most any builder will suggest, this house is most likely sheathed in Corten Steel which is designed and engineered to rust gracefully when exposed to moisture resulting in a durable “copper colored” finish that requires no maintenance and will weather beautifully for years. Often selected for roofs in corrugated panels where low maintenance and/or resistance to hail (in heavier gauges) is desired, plus it blends into the landscape. You can see in the photos the blue-grey steel finish still exists, but is changing to rust as the oil used in milling slowly gives way to the elements allowing it to rust. Google: “corten” for info and photos. Fun project, simple design, compact, eco-friendly, practical features: cistern, hinged wall panels for shade and to secure when unoccupied.

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