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This is a container based mountain bike retreat. It is located on the edge of a steep heavily wooded valley on the way to the Hunter Valley from Sydney.

The difficult terrain, the possibility of relocating the building, the ever present fire risk and the need for security for the bikes made the use of containers seem a good idea. The hierarchy of the plan is the kitchen and living container get prime view, the bedrooms next as they look east and west and the storage and bathroom container last. The whole project is covered by a large skillion that allows the outdoor spaces to be used in most weather, it collects necessary water and protects the containers from the sun and degradation.

The interiors are in contrast to the steel skins in that they are all plywood lined and furnished. Detail is kept to a minimal but inventive and practical nature. Quirky lighting and storage details appear to bring joy to the project. Doors are operated to activate different spaces under different weather conditions as this building sits right on the edge in
many ways.


The building touches the ground in just 8 places with 3 of these simply bolted to existing rock. The exterior is an exercise in lean, neat and prefabricated exposed steelwork. The construction of the building was a synergy of steel fabricator, builder and myself as the architect. It is fully off the grid and has a durability to it that would suggest it could go anywhere. This is the first of a series of similar based buildings.

This project was awarded a ‘Sustainable Award’ at NSW AIA Awards in 2013.

© Copyright 2016 Drew Heath Architects