2015 National Architecture Awards: Small Project Architecture

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Moonlight Cabin by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects.

Moonlight Cabin by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects. Image: Jeremy Weihrauch/Gollings Photography

Moonlight Cabin by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects
Small Project Architecture: National Commendation
Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Moonlight Cabin on Victoria’s wild south-west coast is a masterful response to the challenge of providing minimal accommodation for a couple and two children. This tiny gem of a building has been successfully sited to maximize spectacular coastal views. The project explores the boundaries of how small is too small for transient occupation at various times of the year. The design solution is a direct response to the harsh, windswept climate: the building has b een wrapped in a rain screen of spotted gum cladding. This cladding has been interspersed with finely detailed shutters that can be opened and closed in response to prevailing weather conditions. It is a highly adaptable shelter that can be opened or closed, partially shut down and secured when the owners leave and reopened when they return.

Accommodation requirements have been met by a very efficient plan that makes use of the corridors for both circulation and habitation. The interior spaces feel surprisingly generous due to the minimalist detailing and judicious selection of internal linings (floors, walls and ceilings) as limed spotted gum. This is a model project, an exemplar of holiday dwelling that celebrates the small and the modest as appropriate and relevant and as a poignant formal counter to the greater and overwhelming scale of a surrounding landscape.


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