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October 21, 2021

An architect builds an off grid cabin in the form of Mansfield House. Robbie Walker has designed a home for his family that is both considered and sustainable. The house is situated on a rocky terrain, perched atop a natural flat plane. It was important that the long rectangular structure – which was crafted using raw steel, concrete, plywood and glass – blended in with its surrounding natural environment.

Inspired to connect with the views of the landscape beyond, Mansfield House is half bunker, half glass box. As an architect building an off grid cabin, Robbie had to ensure that the home was durable, with the ability to utilise solar energy and withstand the surrounding climatic conditions. The entrance courtyard and garage both face west where the weather hits the home the hardest, whilst the home itself is encased with a modern interpretation of a traditional Australian verandah. Screens along the home can be adjusted to suit different needs – heating or cooling – simultaneously blending into the environment, providing shelter from the wind and consuming as much solar heat gain as possible.

To champion sustainability and deepen relationships with the environment, and as an architect building an off grid cabin, Robbie has produced a home of lasting resonance – strong yet delicate, poised yet prepared. The architecture was designed around minimal wastage of materials, seen in the concrete blocks and plywood used sustainably throughout the interior. The materiality of the house is rugged, tough and long lasting, feeding into its natural landscape.

As an architect building an off grid cabin, Robbie understood that the isolated conditions of the site meant that the thermal mass needed to play a large role within the home’s design, needing the ability to store heat or cool the interior with ease. The home is simple in its execution, with every element on show – from the structure all the way down to the pipe work. Inspired by a need to build things that last, Architect Robbie Walker builds an off grid cabin, strong enough and powerful enough to endure.

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Architecture and Build by Robbie Walker.
Photography by Dave Kulesza.
Styling by Jess Kneebone.
Furniture by Great Dane.
Objects by Pan After.
Filmed and Edited by Dan Preston.
Production by The Local Project.

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