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Timber Design Awards

Hut on Sleds

On the shore of an idyllic white sandy beach on New Zealand’s Coromandel Peninsula rests an elegant hut.

The site lies within the coastal erosion zone, where all building must be removable, so the hut is designed on two thick wooden sleds for movement back up the site or across the beach and onto a barge.

The holiday retreat is designed to close up against the elements when not in use, and measures a mere 40 square meters. It accommodates a family of five in a kitchen/dining/living area, a bathroom and two sleeping zones, the children’s accommodating a three tiered bunk.

Closed up, the rough macrocarpa cladding blends into the landscape and perches unobtrusively on the dunes. The two storey timber shutter on the front facade winches open to form an awning, shading the interior from summer sun while allowing winter sun to enter. It reveals double height steel framed glass doors that open much like the tent flap, connecting the living and the ladder accessed mezzanine bedroom to the extraordinary view.

Within, the interior is the epitome of efficiency, every available space is utilised from the Pinus Radiata cabinetry to secret cubby holes within the children’s bunks. The hut is totally sustainable from its modest size to the use of timber in its cladding, structure, lining and joinery and from its worm tank waste system to the separate potable grey water tanks. This is a new way of looking at holiday living in this sensitive dune environment