origma hut: off-grid retreat made with crazy smart materials

We are smitten with the Origma Hut, custom-designed and built by by Gary Warner and Philip Sticklen in Sydney, Australia. We admire it not so much for the way it looks but for the thinking and materials that went into it. The description posted on Architizer is potent and to-the-point (our favorite bits bold-faced):

Origma Hut is a single room, off-grid forest retreat custom-designed and built . All materials for the building were brought to the bush site on the back of a ute  [a sort of half-pickup passenger vehicles with a cargo tray in the rear] down a rough 7km track.

The building comprises a galvanised steel frame clad with form-ply sheets [a moisture resistant structural plywood], sitting on sandstone piers…recycled from discarded 1880’s fence footings of a Sydney public park. The inverted roof profile delivers rainwater to a large box gutter feeding a 5,000 litre tank. The roof is made of solarspan, a steel faced insulation filled panel system. Intricate galvanised flashing detail was cut and shaped by hand. Brass detailing completes the materials palette. The interior space is lined with recycled wool blankets covered with 18mm plywood sheeting. Powerful industrial magnets are used for temporary attachment of textiles and support hooks to the steel frame.

A composting toilet, designed and built to complement the main building, is sited at a distance from the hut.

Gary Warner

Gary Warner

We’re especially interested in the use of industrial magnets to hang textiles, as we’ve just been experimenting with magnets ourselves, to hang a curtain on the terrace door, or from it’s frame, to block out sun but let in air…but that’s another story…

Gary Warner

Gary Warner

We learned A LOT about materials we had no idea of just by reading that shortish description — form-ply? solarpsan?. And we got a lot of ideas about just how simple a structure can be to be liveable.

Check out more images here.

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